Public hearings set for Bowers Hill interchange study

Published 6:20 pm Friday, April 15, 2022

Two public hearings have been scheduled for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s recommended preferred alternative for the Bowers Hill interchange that came about from a study of the area.

A virtual meeting will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 26 (Register for Webex meeting) and another scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. April 27 at the VDOT Hampton Roads District office at 7511 Burbage Drive in Suffolk (View VDOT’s video presentation),

VDOT has recommended an additional lane and a part-time driveable shoulder lane in each direction be added onto Interstate 664 from Bowers Hill to College Drive.

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The study area includes Interstates 664, 64 and 264, U.S. Routes 460, 58 and 13 and Jolliff Road — VA Route 191 — in Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth. It was expanded in spring 2020 to include I-664 from Bowers Hill to the College Drive interchange. Other interchanges along I-664 to College Drive are also a part of the study.

The goals for the improvements, according to VDOT, include reducing congestion, increasing travel reliability in the area and providing additional travel choices.

The project has been targeted for funding as a regional priority project in the Hampton Roads region’s 2045 long-range transportation plan.

VDOT also considered adding one or two general-purpose lanes in each direction, adding one or two managed lanes and collector-distributor lanes — extra lanes between the main interstate lanes and the frontage roads.

However, VDOT Assistant Environmental Division Director Scott Smizik said at the Nov. 18 Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization meeting that the collector-distributor lanes would have improved the interchanges but not the entire corridor.

He said VDOT’s preferred choice would align with the Hampton Roads express lane network under construction as part of the I-64 Southside/High Rise Bridge project. A summary of the preliminary study’s findings includes 129 properties and more than 52 acres that would be impacted under a worst-case scenario, and it would impact 101.6 acres of wetlands and 6.5 acres of streams.

For more information, go to www.bowershillinterchange.com