Shared from the 4/7/2016 The Virginian-Pilot eEdition

Dozens question VDOT officials about High-Rise Bridge

CHESAPEAKE

The first phase of the High-Rise Bridge and Interstate 64 expansion is set to move forward with a design plan as officials work to solicit public input, according to officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

About 50 people gathered for a public meeting held by the Chesapeake Council of Civic Organizations. R esidents peppered the representatives with questions about issues they expect, including tolls and potential right-of-way acquisitions affecting their backyards.

The $600 million first phase of the project will widen the I-64 corridor from interstates 464 to 664/264, including the bridge, to six lanes by 2020, according to VDOT. Funding is coming from the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund .

VDOT spokeswoman Laurie Simmons and project manager Rick Correa delivered a presentation on the project – the first public address on it since 2014.

The pair told residents the additional lane each way will be a High Occupancy Toll lane, allowing only vehicles with two or more people – or those willing to pay a toll that varies according to demand. Construction is to begin in the winter of 2017.

Officials are awaiting word from the Coast Guard on VDOT’s proposed bridge height of 100 feet.

Some were skeptical of the project’s ability to ease traffic completely but remain hopeful it will help. Correa said it will eliminate big bottlenecks. Said William Garrett: “In my lifetime?”

See this article in the e-Edition Here