PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Port of Virginia on Monday marked the end of a critical transportation project at Norfolk International Terminals.
Transportation officials held a small ribbon-cutting ceremony on an expansion of the North Gate entrance.
Monday’s ceremony came nearly two years after top state and port officials broke ground on an expansion at the complex.
The new gate is expected to get trucks in and out of the terminal quicker and ease a lot of traffic — adding 22 new lanes. It used to only have four lanes.
Port officials say the new $42 million expansion will also include the latest security technology. NIT CEO John Reinhart told WAVY.com it uses new technology called Optical Character Recognition to help speed along the process.
“The drivers can go through without even stopping,” Reinhart said. “We pick up all the needed detail about that freight, truck and driver as they come through.”
The gate will remain closed from Tuesday through Thursday for final preparations.
The Interstate 564 Intermodal Connector project is also under construction right now to ease congestion on neighborhood and city roads near the port.
The plan is to link the terminal with I-564, which could mean less traffic on Hampton Boulevard and Terminal Boulevard.
Port officials say the completion of these projects will help remove 750 trucks from city streets each day.
The Intermodal Connector project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018.