VDOT calls I-64 widening in Newport News 'top priority'

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by Velma Scaife, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 17 at 6:20 PM

NEWPORT NEWS --The Commonwealth Transportation Board has released a six-year improvement program for projects beginning in July.

The Board has allocated just over $13 billion for highway and transportation projects across the state and $144 million to expand a portion of Interstate 64.  

Widening I-64 from four to six lanes between the Jefferson Avenue and Lee Hall exit in Newport News is a top priority for VDOT.

The extra lanes will ease the traffic gridlock that happens almost daily in that area.

Isaac Talton, who drives a taxi for a living, tries to avoid the congestion whenever he can. 

"It cost time and money for me.  It would behoove me to get there as quick as I can," he said.

The extra lanes are expected to be constructed in the median of the existing interstate -- limiting the amount of right of way required and to avoid impact on existing interchanges.

Ellen Quirk is a home health care nurse and travels on the interstate everyday.  She's tired of her clients being irritated when the traffic congestion makes her late. 

"The motivation is to get this done.  It's a beginning," she added. 

Construction is scheduled to start in the summer of 2015 and could be finished in three years. 

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