Berkley Bridge (Virginia)
|I-264 Berkley Bridge|
|Crosses||Eastern Branch Elizabeth River|
|Official name||Berkley Bridge|
The Berkley Bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge across the Eastern Branch Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. It carries Interstate 264, U.S. Route 460 Alternate, and State Route 337 across the river, connecting the Berkley neighborhood south of the river with downtown Norfolk to the north. The toll-free facility is one of only a small number of movable bridges on the Interstate Highway System.
At each end of the bridge is a complicated interchange. On the downtown side, US 460 Alternate and SR 337 both exit onto city streets. On the Berkley side, I-264 and US 460 Alternate turn west through the Downtown Tunnel (under the Southern Branch of the river), while Interstate 464 begins, heading south, and SR 337 uses I-464 to reach surface streets.
History, earlier bridges
The town of Berkley was in Norfolk County, Virginia. It was located directly across the Eastern Branch Elizabeth River across from the city of Norfolk. In 1909, the incorporated town of Berkley in Norfolk County was annexed by the independent city of Norfolk, and is now considered a neighborhood of that city. (The town of Berkley and Norfolk County are both now extinct. In 1963, remaining portions of Norfolk County were consolidated with the city of South Norfolk to form the new city of Chesapeake).
There have been several incarnations of a Berkley Bridge. An earlier Berkley Bridge was built before 1922, east of the present one, along Main Street. A replacement for that span, in the present location, was completed in 1952 as part of the original Norfolk–Portsmouth Bridge-Tunnel project between the city of Portsmouth and Norfolk. The project was funded with toll revenue bonds. When the bonds were fully repaid, the tolls were removed.
1991: eight lanes and I-464
In 1991, during an expansion of I-264, the Downtown Tunnel was expanded to four lanes and a parallel Berkley Bridge was built, bringing the total Berkley Bridge capacity to eight lanes. This construction included a new interchange for Interstate 464 which connects the Berkley area with Interstate 64 in the independent city of Chesapeake.
There is a pedestrian walkway on the eastern side of the bridge. It is suitable for walking or bicycling and offers a view of Downtown Norfolk and the Elizabeth River. It is separated from the roadway and is fenced in.
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