The Virginia Department of Transportation has signed a memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Navy to begin work on the Interstate 564 Intermodal Connector in Norfolk, according to a statement issued Thursday by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
The connector will cross Naval Station Norfolk to join the existing I-564 with Norfolk International Terminals at the Port of Virginia and will terminate near Hampton Boulevard (Route 337). It is intended to alleviate congestion and improve mobility on city and navy base streets, according to VDOT project information.
"Extending this route between Interstate 64 and the port through the Norfolk Naval Station is one more step my administration is taking to streamline the transportation network into and around the Hampton Roads region," McDonnell said, in the statement.
VDOT will advertise for a contractor on the $169 million project within the first three months of 2013, "so with the signing of the MOA, we are on a fast track to getting a contractor on board to design and build this project," Greg Whirley, VDOT's commissioner, said in a statement.
Tamara Rollison, a VDOT spokeswoman, said the connector road will not be tolled. The road's construction is primarily being covered by federal dollars with some matching funds from the state, according to line item details in VDOT's Six-Year Improvement Program. So far, more than $63,000 has been spent.
The connector's construction will include four travel lanes with a grass median, new bridges, overpasses, exit and entrance ramps, stormwater management areas and other infrastructure. It will provide separate queues for vehicles entering the base and port terminals.
Preliminary engineering, environmental work, right-of-way acquisition, utility design and relocation and other activities on the design-build project have already been conducted, the governor's statement said.
"This transportation project helps increase the efficiency at our Norfolk International Terminal and is a tremendous benefit for the Port of Virginia and the commonwealth as a whole," said William Fralin, the incoming chairman of the Virginia Port Authority board.
To read more about the project, go here.