Interstate 64 in Virginia

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Interstate 64 marker

Interstate 64
Route information
Maintained by VDOT
Length:297.62 mi[1] (478.97 km)
Existed:1957 – present
Major junctions
West end: I‑64 / US 60 at West Virginia state line

I‑81 from near Lexington to Staunton
US 29 in Charlottesville
US 15 near Gum Spring

I‑295 near Short Pump
US 250 various times in Richmond
I‑95 in Richmond
I‑295 near Richmond
I‑664 in Hampton
I‑564 in Norfolk
I‑264 in Norfolk
I‑464 in Chesapeake
East end: I‑264 / I‑664 in Chesapeake
Highway system
SR 63SR 65
  (Redirected from High Rise Bridge)
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This article is about the section of Interstate 64 in Virginia. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 64.

Interstate 64 marker

Interstate 64
Route information
Maintained by VDOT
Length:297.62 mi[1] (478.97 km)
Existed:1957 – present
Major junctions
West end: I‑64 / US 60 at West Virginia state line

I‑81 from near Lexington to Staunton
US 29 in Charlottesville
US 15 near Gum Spring

I‑295 near Short Pump
US 250 various times in Richmond
I‑95 in Richmond
I‑295 near Richmond
I‑664 in Hampton
I‑564 in Norfolk
I‑264 in Norfolk
I‑464 in Chesapeake
East end: I‑264 / I‑664 in Chesapeake
Highway system
SR 63SR 65

In the U.S. state of Virginia, Interstate 64 runs east–west through the middle of the state from West Virginia to the Hampton Roads region, a total of 298 miles (480 km). It is notable for crossing the mouth of the harbor of Hampton Roads on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, the first bridge-tunnel to incorporate artificial islands. Also noteworthy is a section through Rockfish Gap, a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which was equipped with an innovative system of airport-style runway lighting embedded into the pavement to aid motorists during periods of poor visibility due to fog or other conditions.

Route description[edit]

Entering from West Virginia, I-64 passes through Covington, to Lexington. From Lexington to Staunton I-64 overlaps Interstate 81 in the Shenandoah Valley. From Staunton, I-64 leaves I-81 and passes through Waynesboro and crosses Rockfish Gap and passes by Charlottesville to reach Richmond. Through Richmond, I-64 overlaps Interstate 95 for several miles. From Richmond, I-64 continues southeasterly past Williamsburg and through Newport News and Hampton on the Virginia Peninsula to reach the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel which it utilizes to cross the main shipping channel at the entrance to the harbor of Hampton Roads from the Chesapeake Bay. In South Hampton Roads, I-64 passes through Norfolk and a portion of Virginia Beach to end in Chesapeake at Bowers Hill, where it meets both the western terminus of Interstate 264 and the southern terminus of Interstate 664 near the northeastern corner of the Great Dismal Swamp.

Since 2006, from Exit 200 (Interstate 295) to Exit 273 (U.S. Route 60 east of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel), a contraflow lane reversal system is in place to hasten an evacuation of the Hampton Roads area. Hurricane gates are installed at eastbound Interstate 64 entrance and exit ramps, and crossover roads are in place near the aforementioned exits. During a hurricane evacuation, the eastbound lanes of I-64 will be reversed into westbound lanes so hundreds of thousands of residents can evacuate.[2]


Map from a 1958 study, showing the two routes between Clifton Forge and Richmond

A portion of Interstate 64 between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Short Pump in Henrico County closely follows the path of the historic colonial-era Three Notch'd Road, which had been established in the Colony of Virginia by the 1730s, and was largely replaced in the 1930s by U.S. Route 250.[3]

From the time it was added to the proposed Interregional Highway System, I-64 was to use the U.S. Route 250 alignment west of Richmond.[4][5][6][7] In the late 1950s, a number of interested citizens including Virginia Senator Mosby G. Perrow, Jr., proposed that I-64 be realigned to run along U.S. Route 220, U.S. Route 460, State Route 307, and U.S. Route 360 from Clifton Forge via Cloverdale (near Roanoke), Lynchburg, and Farmville to Richmond. The state continued planning for the piece of the US 250 alignment from Richmond to Short Pump, which would be needed anyway to handle traffic.[8]

This southern route was favored by Gov. J. Lindsay Almond Jr. and most members of the State Highway Commission. The decision was on hold for three years. In 1961, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges rejected that plan and chose the present route, leaving Lynchburg as the largest city in Virginia not served by an interstate. Officially, the chosen route was considered more efficient. However, there is speculation that the decision involved "back-room" politics of the Kennedy administration.[9] The first section of I-64 to open to traffic was in November 1957 with the six-mile (10 km) section in Hampton from Mercury Boulevard (US 258) to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel,[10] which had only recently been completed as a two-lane facility built with non-interstate highway toll revenue bond funding. The second tube and four-laning of approaches to the bridge-tunnel was accomplished almost 20 years later with federal Interstate Highway funds and the tolls were removed at that time. I-64 was extended to J. Clyde Morris Boulevard (Exit 258, US 17) in 1958, to Jefferson Avenue (Exit 255, VA 143) in 1959, and to Camp Peary, Colonial Williamsburg (Exit 238, VA 143) in November, 1965.

From June 2013 to February 2014, the Virginia Department of Transportation converted the existing interchange between I-64 and US 15, in Zion Crossroads, to a diverging diamond (DDI), the first in the state, with final construction expected to be complete by mid-April 2014.[11][12][13]

High Rise Bridge[edit]

High Rise Bridge
CrossesSouthern Branch Elizabeth River
Construction begin1969
Opened1972 (1972)
Daily traffic73,000[14]

Interstate 64 utilizes the High Rise Bridge, a four lane, bascule drawbridge to cross the Southern Branch Elizabeth River. The twin spans of concrete and steel were completed in 1972, and are operated by VDOT. Currently, the High Rise Bridge is the only highway-grade toll-free crossing of the Southern Branch Elizabeth River, since the Downtown and Midtown Tunnel began tolling in 2014. Other non-interstate alternate routes include the Gilmerton Bridge on US 13 (Military Highway), as well as the tolled Jordan Bridge in Portsmouth.

Because of the high impact a bridge opening has on traffic, the bridge only opens on a 24-hour advanced notice unless the scheduled lift time is during the bridge's restricted hours of 6-9am and 3-6pm, when a three day notice is required.

On Wednesday November 10, 2010 after the 2:30 opening the bridge was stuck in the up position causing widespread traffic delays. It was later attributed to an electrical outage during a lift at 2:30 p.m.. That failure caused a malfunction in the bridge's lift mechanism which caused the bridge to not close completely. Engineers had to manually lower the span back together, and reopened the bridge some three and a half hours later, at 6:00pm.[15]

Hampton Roads Beltway[edit]

Main article: Hampton Roads Beltway
I-64 on the Hampton Roads Beltway, north of I-264
Interstate 64 in Alleghany County. Note the narrow median.

I-64 east from a point near the Hampton Coliseum forms part of the Hampton Roads Beltway, a circumferential highway which passes through the major cities of Hampton Roads. At the terminus of I-64, Interstate 664 begins, passing through Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk before crossing the harbor via the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel to reach Newport News and Hampton, completing the loop. The beltway is signed Inner Loop and Outer Loop to help avoid confusion.

The eastern terminus of I-64 is not the road's easternmost point. After crossing Hampton Roads through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and entering Norfolk, the road makes a wide loop toward Virginia Beach and through that city's northwest side. The road then curves toward its final destination on the west side of Chesapeake. From the point where the road enters Chesapeake, I-64 "east" actually runs westward, ending at a location known as Bowers Hill near the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp where it becomes Interstate 664. Today, I-64 is no longer signed as east or west between Bowers Hill and the east junction with I-264 to limit possible confusion; instead it is signed as the inner or outer loop of the Hampton Roads Beltway. All entrance ramps between these two locations are signed with control cities that differ according to the location of the exit. For inner (westbound) traffic, Suffolk is the most common control city used, although Norfolk is used at two entrances in Chesapeake to indicate the most direct route to Norfolk (via Interstate 464). For outer (eastbound) traffic, Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia Beach are variously used.

Interstate 64 in the Hampton Roads area is gradually being augmented with HOV-2 lanes. In the 1990s, reversible HOV-2 lanes were added between I-564 and I-264. A relatively simple design, it allows only direct exits to the aforementioned termini, slip ramps beyond them, and an additional pair of slip ramps just west (compass north) of the I-264 interchange. The reversible lanes operate westbound from around midnight to noon and eastbound from around noon to midnight. HOV restrictions are only in place during rush hour periods; at other times, any vehicle may use the lanes except during reversals at noon and midnight. Access is controlled by clock-controlled automated gates, and each ramp has multiple gates to provide a safeguard against malfunction. Beyond the reversible lanes, increasing lengths of Interstate 64 (and its spur routes) are receiving HOV-designated left lanes, subject to restrictions during rush hours. Such extensions are ongoing.

Interstate 64 has two three-digit bypasses that are shorter than the main leg for through traffic, both in the Hampton Roads area. Interstate 664, which connects the Virginia Peninsula to South Hampton Roads on the western side of Chesapeake (and to the eastern terminus of I-64), is about 15 miles (24 km) shorter than the bypassed main leg. Interstate 264, which passes through downtown Norfolk, is about a mile (1.6 km) shorter than the main leg it bypasses.

Interstate 64 passes through the historic African-American neighborhood of Jackson Ward in Richmond, Va. When the interstate was being built in the late 1950s, a cemetery was displaced, resulting in several coffins being forced into the James River. The builders of the interstate also destroyed a house on Fifth Street, which was the birthplace of legendary dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

Exit list[edit]

CountyLocationMilekmOld exitNew exitDestinationsNotes
Alleghany 0.000.00 I‑64 west / US 60 west – White Sulphur SpringsWest Virginia state line
 1211Jerry's Run Trail
 71127 SR 661Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Callaghan1016310 US 60 east / SR 159 south to SR 311 – CallaghanEast end of US 60 overlap
City of Covington1423414 SR 154 – Covington, Hot Springs
AlleghanyMallow1626516 US 60 west / US 220 north – Covington, Hot Springs, WESTVACO Trailer LotWest end of US 60 / US 220 overlap; signed as exits 16A (US 60 / US 220) and 16B (WESTVACO Trailer Lot) westbound
 2134621 SR 696 – Low Moor
US 60 Bus. east / US 220 Bus. south (SR 384)
Cliftondale Park2743827
US 220 / US 60 Bus. west / SR 629 – Clifton Forge
East end of US 220 overlap
 2947929 SR 42 north / SR 269 east
Longdale Furnace35561035 SR 269 / SR 850 – Longdale Furnace
Rockbridge 43691143 SR 780 – Goshenformer SR 270 north
 50801250 US 60 east / SR 623East end of US 60 overlap
East Lexington55891355 US 11 to SR 39 – Lexington, Goshen
 56901456 I‑81 south – RoanokeWest end of I-81 overlap; I-64 west follows exit 191
see I-81
Augusta 871401587 I‑81 north – Staunton, WinchesterEast end of I-81 overlap; I-64 west follows exit 221
 911461691 SR 285 to SR 608 – Fishersville, Stuarts Draft
City of Waynesboro941511794 US 340 – Waynesboro, Stuarts Draft
961541896 SR 624 – Waynesboro, Lyndhurst
AugustaRockfish Gap991591999 US 250 – Afton, Waynesboro
AlbemarleYancey Mills10717220107 US 250 – Crozet, Yancey Mills
 11418321114 SR 637 – Ivy
 11819022118 US 29 – Charlottesville, Culpeper, LynchburgSigned as exits 118A (south) and 118B (north)
 12019323120 SR 631 (5th Street) – Charlottesville
 12119524121 SR 20 – Charlottesville, ScottsvilleSigned as exits 121A (south) and 121B (north) eastbound
 12420025124 US 250 – Charlottesville, Shadwell
 12920826129 SR 616 – Keswick, Boyd Tavern
LouisaZion Crossroads13621927136 US 15 – Gordonsville, PalmyraFirst diverging diamond interchange in the state
Ferncliff14323028143 SR 208 – Louisa, Ferncliff
GoochlandShannon Hill14823829148 SR 605 – Shannon Hill
 15224530152 SR 629 – Hadensville
LouisaGum Spring15925631159 US 522 – Gum Spring, Goochland, Mineral
GoochlandOilville16726932167 SR 617 – Oilville, Goochland
 17327833173 SR 623 – Rockville, Manakin
 175282175 SR 288 south – Chesterfield
Henrico 17728534177 I‑295 – Washington, Norfolk, AirportI-295 exit 53
 17828635178 US 250 (Broad Street) – Short PumpSigned as exits 178A (west) and 178B (east)
 180290180Gaskins Road to US 250Signed as exits 180A (south) and 180B (north)
 18129137181Parham RoadSigned as exits 181A (south) and 181B (north) westbound
 18329538183 US 250 (Broad Street) / Glenside DriveSigned as exits 183A (Glenside Drive south), 183B (US 250 east), and 183C (US 250 west / Glenside Drive north) westbound
Dumbarton18529839185 US 33 (Staples Mill Road) / Dickens RoadSigned as exits 185A (west) and 185B (east) eastbound
City of Richmond18629940186 SR 197 (Laburnum Avenue)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
186.3299.840186 I‑195 south / to Powhite Parkway (SR 76 south) – Downtown Richmond
187301187 I‑95 north – WashingtonWest end of I-95 overlap; I-64 west follows exit 79
781261478SR 161 (Boulevard Belt)
76.4123.01376B US 1 (Belvidere Street) / US 301No northbound exit
761221276AChamberlayne AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
190306190 I‑95 south – PetersburgEast end of I-95 overlap; I-64 east follows exit 75
1903061903rd Street / 5th Street - Downtown Richmond, Coliseum, Convention Center
19230944192 US 360 – Mechanicsville
Henrico 19331145193 SR 33 (Nine Mile Road)Signed as exits 193A (west) and 193B (east)
 19531446195Laburnum Avenue
 19731747197 SR 156 – Highland Springs, Sandston, Richmond International AirportSigned as exits 197A (south) and 197B (north)
 20032248200 I‑295 / US 60 – Rocky Mount, NC, WashingtonI-295 exit 28
New KentBottoms Bridge20533049205 SR 33 west / SR 249 east to US 60 – Bottoms Bridge, QuintonWest end of SR 33 overlap
 211340211 SR 106 – Talleysville, Roxbury
 214344214 SR 155 – New Kent CH, Providence Forge
 220354220 SR 33 east – West PointEast end of SR 33 overlap
James City 227365227 SR 30 to US 60 – West Point, Toano, Williamsburg
 231372231 SR 607 to SR 30 – Croaker, Norge, ToanoSigned as exits 231A (Norge) and 231B (Croaker); former SR 188
YorkBurkes Corner234377234 SR 199 east / SR 646 west – LightfootSigned as exits 234A (east) and 234B (west) westbound
 238383238 SR 143 east to US 60 – Camp Peary, Colonial Williamsburg
 242389242 SR 199 (Marquis Center Parkway / Humelsine Parkway)Signed as exits 242A (west) and 242B (east)
 243391243A To US 60 – Busch Gardens
 243.2391.4243B SR 143 west (Business Route) – WilliamsburgNo entrance ramps
City of Newport News247398247 SR 143 / SR 238 – Yorktown, Lee Hall
250402250 SR 105 (Fort Eustis Boulevard) – Yorktown, Fort EustisSigned as exits 250A (west) and 250B (east)
255410255 SR 143 (Jefferson Avenue)Signed as exits 255A (east) and 255B (west)
256412256 SR 171 east (Victory Boulevard) / Oyster Point Road west – PoquosonSigned as exits 256A (west) and 256B (east)
258415258 US 17 (J. Clyde Morris Boulevard) – YorktownSigned as exits 258A (south) and 258B (north)
City of Hampton261420261AHampton Roads Center Parkway west
261.4420.7261BHampton Roads Center Parkway eastEastbound exit and westbound entrance
262422262B SR 134 north (Magruder Boulevard) – NASA, PoquosonWest end of SR 134 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
263423263 US 258 / SR 134 south (Mercury Boulevard) – Coliseum, James River BridgeEast end of SR 134 overlap; signed as exits 263A (US 258 south) and 263B (US 258 north / SR 134 south) westbound
264425264 I‑664 south (Hampton Roads Beltway outer loop) – Downtown Newport News, Suffolk, ChesapeakeWest end of Hampton Roads Beltway overlap; I-664 exit 1
265.2426.8265A SR 134 (Armistead Avenue) / La Salle Avenue – Langley AFBSigned as exits 265A (La Salle Avenue south / SR 134 east - latter westbound only), 265B (La Salle Avenue north / SR 134 west - westbound only), and 265C (SR 134 - eastbound only); former SR 167
267430267 US 60 west / SR 143 (Settlers Landing Road) / Woodland Road – Hampton UniversityWest end of US 60 overlap
268431268 SR 169 east (Mallory Street) – Fort Monroe
Hampton RoadsHampton Roads Bridge–Tunnel
City of Norfolk272438272West Ocean View Avenue – Willoughby Spitformer US 60 east
273439273 US 60 east (4th View Street) – Ocean ViewEast end of US 60 overlap
274441274Bay Avenue - Naval StationWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
276444276 I‑564 / US 460 (Granby Street) to SR 406 (Terminal Boulevard) – Naval BaseSigned as exits 276A (US 460) and 276B (I-564) westbound; no access from I-64 east to US 460 east; no direct access from I-64 west to US 460 west
276.5445.0276C SR 165 (Little Creek Road) to US 460 westWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
277446277 SR 168 (Tidewater Drive)Signed as exits 277A (south) and 277B (north)
278447278 SR 194 south (Chesapeake Boulevard)eastbound exit and westbound entrance
278447278 SR 194 north (Chesapeake Boulevard)westbound exit and eastbound entrance
279449279Norview Avenue (SR 247) - Norfolk International AirportSigned as exits 279A (west) and 279B (east) westbound
281452281 SR 165 (Military Highway) / Robin Hood RoadSigned as exits 281A (Robin Hood Road) and 281B (SR 165 south) eastbound; no eastbound entrance
282454282 US 13 (Northampton Boulevard) – Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnelno access from I-64 east to US 13 south or US 13 north to I-64 west
284457284 I‑264 / Newtown Road – Virginia Beach, Downtown Norfolk, PortsmouthSigned as exits 284A (west) and 284B (east); eastbound exit 284A includes a flyover to I-264 east, so exit 284B is signed only for Newtown Road in that direction; I-264 exit 14; east end of directional (east-west) signage
City of Virginia Beach286460286Indian River RoadSigned as exits 286A (west) and 286B (east); former SR 407
City of Chesapeake289465289Greenbrier ParkwaySigned as exits 289A (north) and 289B (south)
SR 168 north / SR 168 Bus. south (Battlefield Boulevard) – Great Bridge
Counterclockwise (outer) end of SR 168 overlap
291468291A I‑464 north – Norfolk
291.4469.0291B US 17 south / SR 168 south / SR 190 – Great Bridge, Elizabeth City, Outer BanksClockwise (inner) end of SR 168 overlap; counterclockwise (outer) end of US 17 overlap; signed as exits 291B (SR 168) and 292 (US 17) counterclockwise (outer)
High Rise Bridge over Elizabeth River Southern Branch
US 17 north / US 17 Bus. south – Deep Creek, Portsmouth
Clockwise (inner) end of US 17 overlap; signed as exits 296A (north) and 296B (south) clockwise (inner)
297478297 US 13 / US 460 (Military Highway)
297.62478.97299 I‑264 east / I‑664 to US 13 / US 58 / US 460 – Suffolk, Newport News, Richmond, Portsmouth, NorfolkSigned as exits 299A (I-264 east) and 299B (I-664)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va. prepares for hurricanes, April 30, 2006
  3. ^ "The Route of the Three Notch'd Road: A Preliminary Report". Virginia Highway & Transportation Research Council. September 2003. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  4. ^ State Highway Commission of Virginia (September 11, 1945) (PDF). Minutes of Meeting (Report). Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia., page 12
  5. ^ Routes of the Recommended Interregional Highway System, ca. 1943
  6. ^ National System of Interstate Highways, August 2, 1947
  7. ^ National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, September 1955
  8. ^ State Highway Commission of Virginia (April 24, 1958) (PDF). Minutes of Meeting (Report). Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia., page 23
  9. ^ See: Charlottesville won, and Lynchburg lost / Routing of I-64 was major tussle, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1999
  10. ^ Hampton County -
  11. ^ "Under Construction: I-64 Interchange at Route 15, Zion Crossroads". Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ "VDOT Opens new DDI". VDOT. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  13. ^ "Animation of Traffic Flows". VDOT. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  14. ^ "High Rise Bridge (I-64)". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Chesapeake High-Rise Bridge reopened to traffic". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

Interstate 64
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