Interstate 64 in Virginia

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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 near Lexington
I‑81 near Staunton
I‑95 in Richmond
I‑295 near Richmond
I‑664 in Hampton
I‑264 in Norfolk
East end: I‑264 / I‑664 in Chesapeake
Highway system
SR 63 SR 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
Crosses Southern branch of Elizabeth River
Locale Chesapeake
Construction begin 1969
Opened 1972 (1972)
Daily traffic 73,000[14]

Interstate 64 utilizes the High Rise Bridge, a four lane, bascule drawbridge to cross the Southern Branch of the 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 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 South Norfolk 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]

County Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
Alleghany Callaghan 0.00 0.00 I‑64 west – Lewisburg West Virginia state line
1 Jerry's Run Trail
7 SR 661 – Callaghan Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
10 US 60 east / SR 159 south to SR 311 – Callaghan East end of US 60 overlap
City of Covington 14 SR 154 – Hot Springs, Covington
16 US 60 west / US 220 north – Hot Springs, Covington West end of US 60/US 220 overlap
Alleghany   21 SR 696 – Low Moor
Clifton Forge 24
US 60 Bus. east / US 220 Bus. south (SR 384) – Clifton Forge
US 220 / US 60 Bus. west / SR 629 – Clifton Forge
East end of US 220 overlap; Accessibility to Roanoke via US 220 South
Nicelytown 29 SR 42 north / SR 269 east – Nicelytown
35 SR 269 / SR 850 – Longdale Furnace, Nicelytown
Rockbridge   43 SR 780 – Goshen
Kerrs Creek 50 US 60 east / SR 623 East end of US 60 overlap
City of Lexington 55 US 11 to SR 39 – Lexington, Goshen
56 I‑81 south – Roanoke West end of I-81 overlap
195 US 11 – Lexington
Rockbridge   200 SR 710 – Fairfield
Raphine 205 SR 606 – Raphine
Augusta Mint Spring 213 US 11 to US 340 north – Mint Spring, Waynesboro
217 SR 654 – Mint Spring
City of Staunton 220 SR 262 to US 11 – Staunton
87 I‑81 north – Staunton, Winchester East end of I-81 overlap
Augusta Fishersville 91 SR 285 to SR 608 – Fishersville, Stuarts Draft
City of Waynesboro 94 US 340 – Waynesboro, Stuarts Draft
96 SR 624 – Waynesboro, Lyndhurst
99 US 250 – Waynesboro, Afton Serves the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive
Albemarle Yancey Mills 107 US 250 – Crozet, Yancey Mills
  114 SR 637 – Ivy
City of Charlottesville 118 US 29 – Lynchburg, Culpeper, Charlottesville Signed as exits 118A (south) and 118B (north)
120 SR 631 (5th Street) – Charlottesville
121 SR 20 – Scottsville, Charlottesville Signed as exits 121A (south) and 121B (north) eastbound
124 US 250 – Shadwell, Charlottesville
Albemarle   129 SR 616 – Keswick, Boyd Tavern
Louisa Zion Crossroads 136 US 15 – Gordonsville, Palmyra First diverging diamond interchange in the state
Ferncliff 143 SR 208 – Ferncliff, Louisa
Goochland   148 SR 605 – Shannon Hill
  152 SR 629 – Hadensville
Louisa Gum Spring 159 US 522 – Gum Spring, Goochland, Mineral
Goochland   167 SR 617 – Goochland, Oilville
  173 SR 623 – Rockville, Manakin
  175 SR 288 south – Chesterfield
Henrico Short Pump 177 I‑295 south - Washington, Norfolk
178 US 250 – Short Pump, Richmond Signed as exits 178A (west) and 178B (east)
  180 Gaskins Road Signed as exits 180A (south) and 180B (north)
  181 Parham Road Signed as exits 181A (south) and 181B (north) westbound
Dumbarton 183 US 250 (Broad Street) / Glenside Drive Signed as exits 183A (Glenside Drive south), 183B (US 250 east), and 183C (US 250 west, Glenside Drive north) westbound
185 US 33 (Staples Mill Road) / Dickens Road Signed as exits 185A (west) and 185B (east) eastbound
City of Richmond 186 SR 197 (Laburnum Avenue) Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
186 I‑195 south to SR 76
187 I‑95 north - Washington West end of I-95 overlap
78 SR 161 – Rosedale, Carillon
76B US 1 (Belvidere Street) / US 301 No northbound exit
76A Chamberlayne Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance
190 I‑95 south – Petersburg East end of I-95 overlap
190 3rd Street, 5th Street - Downtown Richmond access to the Richmond Coliseum
192 US 360 – Mechanicsville
Henrico Highland Springs 193 SR 33 (Nine Mile Road) Signed as exits 193A (west) and 193B (east)
195 Laburnum Avenue
197 SR 156 – Sandston, Highland Springs Signed as exits 197A (south) and 197B (north)
200 I‑295 / US 60 – Hopewell, Norfolk Use I-295 south to US 60.
New Kent Bottoms Bridge 205 SR 33 west / SR 249 east to US 60 – Quinton, Bottoms Bridge West end of SR 33 overlap
Talleysville 211 SR 106 – Roxbury, Talleysville, Prince George
Carps Corner 214 SR 155 – Providence Forge, New Kent
Angelview Church 220 SR 33 east – West Point East end of SR 33 overlap
James City Toano 227 SR 30 to US 60 – Toano, Williamsburg, West Point
Norge 231 SR 607 to SR 30 – Norge, Toano, Croaker Signed as exits 231A (SR 30, Norge) and 231B (Croaker)
York Lightfoot 234 SR 199 east / SR 646 west – Lightfoot Signed as exits 234A (east) and 234B (west) westbound
City of Williamsburg 238 SR 143 east to US 60 – Camp Peary, Colonial Williamsburg
242 SR 199 / Colonial Parkway – Busch Gardens, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown Signed as exits 242A (west) and 242B (east)
243A US 60 – Busch Gardens
243B SR 143 west – Williamsburg No entrance ramps
James City   247 SR 143 / SR 238 – Lee Hall, Yorktown
City of Newport News 250 SR 105 (Fort Eustis Boulevard) – Fort Eustis, Yorktown Signed as exits 250A (west) and 250B (east)
255 SR 143 (Jefferson Avenue) Signed as exits 255A (east) and 255B (west)
256 SR 171 – Poquoson, Newport News Signed as exits 256A (west) and 256B (east)
258 US 17 (J. Clyde Morris Blvd.) – Yorktown, Portsmouth Signed as exits 258A (south) and 258B (north)
City of Hampton 261A Hampton Roads Center Parkway west
261B Hampton Roads Center Parkway east Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
262B SR 134 north (Magruder Boulevard) – Poquoson, NASA Langley Research Center West end of SR 134 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
263 US 258 / SR 134 south (Mercury Boulevard) - Hampton Coliseum, James River Bridge Signed as exits 263A (US 258 south) and 263B (US 258 north/SR 134 south) westbound
264 I‑664 south – Downtown Newport News, Suffolk, Chesapeake
West end of Hampton Roads Beltway overlap; eastbound becomes inner loop and westbound becomes outer loop
265A SR 134 east (Armistead Avenue) / La Salle Avenue Former SR 167 south
265B SR 134 west (Armistead Avenue) / La Salle Avenue No inner (eastbound) exit; former SR 167 north
265C SR 134 (Armistead Avenue) access to the Langley AFB; Inner (eastbound) exit only
267 US 60 west / SR 143 (Settlers Landing Road/Woodland Road) – Hampton University Outer (west) end of US 60 overlap
268 SR 169 east (Mallory Street) – Fort Monroe
Hampton Roads Hampton Roads Bridge–Tunnel
City of Norfolk 272 West Ocean View Ave – Willoughby Spit
273 US 60 east (4th View Street) – Ocean View Outer (west) end of US 60 east overlap
274 Bay Avenue - Naval Air Station Norfolk Outer (westbound) exit and inner (eastbound) entrance
276 I‑564 / US 460 (Granby Street) to SR 406 (Terminal Boulevard) – Naval Station Norfolk Signed as exits 276A (US 460) and 276B (I-564) on outer loop (westbound)
276C SR 165 to US 460 west Outer (westbound) exit and inner (eastbound) entrance
277 SR 168 (Tidewater Drive) Signed as exits 277A (south) and 277B (north)
278 SR 194 (Chesapeake Boulevard)
279 SR 247 (Norview Avenue) Signed as exits 279A (west) and 279B (east) on outer loop (westbound); access to the Norfolk International Airport
281 SR 165 (Military Highway) / Robin Hood Road Signed as exits 281A (Robin Hood Road) and 281B (SR 165 south) on inner loop (eastbound)
282 US 13 north (Northampton Boulevard) – Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
284 I‑264 / Newtown Road – Downtown Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach Signed as exits 284A (west) and 284B (east); inner (eastbound) exit 284A includes a flyover to I-264 east, so exit 284B is signed only for Newtown Road in that direction
Inner (east) end of signage as east/west; only inner (east)/outer (west) beyond
City of Virginia Beach 286 Indian River Road Signed as exits 286A (west) and 286B (east); former SR 407
City of Chesapeake 289 Greenbrier Parkway Signed as exits 289A (north) and 289B (south)
290A SR 168 north (Battlefield Boulevard) Outer (west) end of SR 168 overlap
SR 168 Bus. south (Battlefield Boulevard) – Great Bridge
291A I‑464 – Downtown Norfolk
291B US 17 south (Dominion Boulevard) / SR 168 south – Elizabeth City, Nags Head, Great Bridge Inner (east) end of SR 168 overlap; outer (west) end of US 17 north overlap; access from outer loop (westbound) to US 17 south is at exit 292
292 US 17 south / SR 190 – Elizabeth City Outer (west) end of US 17 south overlap; outer (westbound) exit only
US 17 north / US 17 Bus. south – Portsmouth, Deep Creek
Inner (east) end of US 17 overlap; signed as exits 296A (north) and 296B (south) on inner loop (eastbound)
297 US 13 / US 460 (Military Highway)
299A I‑264 east – Portsmouth, Norfolk Inner (eastbound) exit and outer (westbound) entrance
297.62 478.97 299B I‑664 / US 13 / US 58 / US 460 – Bowers Hill, Suffolk, Newport News Inner (eastbound) exit and outer (westbound) entrance
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
  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. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

Interstate 64
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