HAMPTON, Va. - There's a new traffic pattern in south Hampton at the last exit before you get on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) headed to Norfolk.
The Mallory Street Bridge will now be closed to traffic headed to the I-64 E ramp, Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. The pilot program will last two months.
“There’s no way to deal with it that’s going to be perfect,” communications director Mike Holtzclaw said.
He said the city is trying to cut down on the number of people who get off I-64 E early, cut through the residential streets of Phoebus, then jump back on I-64 E at the Mallory Street Bridge exit. Holtzclaw said that route creates a lot of congestion in residential areas.
“Stay on 64. We know it’s slow ,but let’s not clog up the residential streets and cause more traffic problems trying to get through there," Holtzclaw said.
Drivers heading towards Norfolk are no longer able to cross the Mallory Street Bridge during rush hour to get to I-64 E- the last exit before going through the HRBT. Traffic is now only one way, headed into Phoebus.
“It’s kind of a Catch-22 I did see how traffic was backed up initially, but I do think it would help but it’ll be an inconvenience for people that have to go there for a daily basis for work,” driver Myron Allen said.
The program started Friday, April 1.
Resident Amelia Maccubbin said she's already seen in an improvement in residential traffic in the afternoons and evenings.
“A lot of people are worried now that Phoebus residents have to go to woodland now to get on the interstate," Maccubbin said." It was no problem at all. In fact, it seemed less busy.”
The city said they are working with map applications like Apple, Google and WAZE to update their data to show the closure. There are also signs posted through the city and on the interstate to warn drivers of the closure.