Families share excitement with I-64 widening project now complete

"It's so nice not to have to worry about getting somewhere and not be there on time."
I-63 Widening Project ribbon cutting ceremony (December 20).jpg
Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 20, 2021

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.— Good news for commuters on the Peninsula: Monday, city leaders celebrated the completion of the I-64 widening project, which adds three new lanes for travelers.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic is a reality for drivers on the Peninsula. But now, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) leaders tell News 3 the drive will be smoother since I-64 now goes from four lanes to six from Newport News to Williamsburg.

The same way children anticipate Christmas, regional leaders have been waiting for this project to be complete. At long last, the I-64 widening project Segment III in York County is complete.

Families said they're excited to see the three new lanes on I-64 east between exits 234 and 242.

Rebecca Hanson, who's excited about the project's completion, said, "It's a lot quicker. Where it used to take almost 30 minutes, [it] now takes about 25. It's only about five minutes, but five minutes is a lot when you're trying to get to work."

Hanson said some summer mornings with tourist traffic was a pain, but she's pleased that the project will help alleviate traffic backup.

"There have been other times I've been going further east and you're stuck in traffic because of an accident, or traffic going especially because of Busch Gardens. It really has helped," said Hanson.

After nearly three years of work, VDOT leaders said this project adds an additional six miles of interstate widening, along with new signage, draining improvements and the repavement of existing lanes.

"A lot of folks that have grown up in this area have lived with the impacts of traffic and congestion - those key crossing points in our region. We will now not have to deal with that," said Chris Hall, VDOT District Engineer.

While this is the final phase of the three Peninsula I-64 projects, some York County families tell News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones they've seen the different phases of this project and have high hopes it will improve their commute.

Susan Diamond, a York County resident, tells News 3, "It's so nice not to have to worry about getting somewhere and not be there on time."

"Both the economic and social impacts it has in bringing our region together in a different way is beneficial, where it's not difficult to get from the Peninsula to the Southside and vice versa. This will change our region dramatically," said Hall.

The $178 million project was completed on December 17.

Related: 'Mary the Tunnel Boring Machine' makes its debut at tunnel expansion ceremony