Upgrading Interstate Capacity Along Key Arteries

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is in the midst of a $3.9 billion upgrade to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, scheduled to be completed in 2027. The project, the largest highway construction effort in Virginia history, will see VDOT widen the current four-lane segments along a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 64 in Hampton and Norfolk and construct new twin tunnels across Norfolk Harbor, doubling the road’s capacity. The boring machine creating the tunnel — named “Mary” after former NASA Langley Research Center engineer Mary Winston Jackson, one of the “Hidden Figures” immortalized in the movie of the same name — completed boring for the first tunnel in April and is currently completing the second, a process expected to take approximately 11 months.

Elsewhere in the Commonwealth, VDOT is in the midst of its I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, aimed at upgrading Virginia’s main freight thoroughfare, which sees 11.7 million trucks move $312 billion in goods each year. VEDP worked with the Commonwealth Transportation Board to approve changes aimed at standardizing data entry across applications.

Partnerships Strengthen Rail Infrastructure

While many of its upgrades are aimed at improving the passenger rail experience in Virginia, the Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRIV) initiative allocates $3.7 billion to improve passenger, commuter, and freight rail in the Commonwealth by expanding Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line. TRIV consists of several projects aimed at improving railroad infrastructure, adding capacity, and improving reliability of freight and passenger rail. Nine of TRIV’s 15 initial projects are currently in various stages of preliminary engineering.

As part of the initiative, Amtrak is doubling its service along the Washington-Richmond corridor, increasing service to Roanoke, Newport News, and Norfolk, and extending service to Christiansburg. The Commonwealth has acquired nearly 400 miles of CSX Transportation right-of-way and more than 200 miles of track in rail corridors near Interstates 64, 85, and 95. Outside the Commonwealth, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is beginning a three-year, $12.4 billion modernization effort of its system, with upgrades to the Blue Line in Fairfax County and Alexandria scheduled to begin in 2025.

train over water



The Port of Virginia Focuses on Fluidity, Sustainability

The Port of Virginia recently wrapped up $1.4 billion in upgrades to its Hampton Roads facilities, reaching milestones in sustainability and fluidity of operations. The port is the first major East Coast facility to power its entire operation using 100% clean electricity, with commitments to become carbon neutral by 2040. Earlier this year, the port opened a new, wider shipping channel in Norfolk Harbor that allows two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels (ULCV), saving an estimated 15% of time on berth.

The port continues to work on its dredging initiative, which will deepen the shipping channel to 55 feet and the ocean approach to 59 feet. The $450 million project is expected to finish in 2025 and will give the port the deepest, widest channels on the East Coast.

Aerial of Cargo Ship

Norfolk Harbor


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