VDOT holds public information meeting on next phase of I-64 expansion plan

aheymann@vagazette.com

The Virginia Department of Transportation held a public information session on the next phase of the Interstate 64 widening project at Bruton High School on June 27.

The information session was specifically for segment three of the project, which will widen Interstate 64 from approximately one mile west of Route 199, Lightfoot, Exit 234, to 1.05 miles west of Route 199, Exit 242.

The project will create a 12-foot-wide travel lane and 12-foot-wide shoulder in each direction. Along with widening the road, the project includes drainage improvements, sign structure replacements and corridor-wide landscaping. This phase of the project will cost approximately $311 million.

The event was hosted by Shirley Contracting, the design contractor for the widening. Rather than a regular meeting was information is lectured to a group, this information session was set up in an open house style. Community members looked at maps and information on the project displayed on signs. They were also able to ask Shirley Contracting design builders and VDOT representatives questions they had about the project.

Even before the official start of the information session, the lobby of Bruton High School was packed with curious citizens. Madelyn Mccabe, from Creeks Landing, said she was happy with the Interstate 64 expansion plans because they included a sound wall between her neighborhood and the interstate.

“I think there will be some noise (during construction), but I’ll put up with that as long as they give me my wall,” Mccabe said.

In total, the interstate will have approximately 5,100 feet of noise barriers.

However other citizens were not as enthusiastic about VDOT’s plans. Lynn Maltinsky, a resident of Queens Lake, said he and other members of his neighborhood were upset they were not getting a sound wall as well. Brittany McBride, a spokeswoman for VDOT, said the organization did two noise studies for the project and only put sound barriers that met federal and state regulations.

Construction is scheduled to start in mid-late July according to Chuck Smith, vice president of Shirley Contracting. The project is scheduled to finish by September 24, of 2021. Smith said he believes the project will be completed on time because the contract awarded to Shirley Contracting states the firm must make up any days of construction lost with either weekend work or overtime.

Smith said the widening will mostly take place in the median of the existing interstate to limit the impact of construction on traffic. The speed limit will be reduced to 55 mph in the construction area, however, McBride said that is standard safety procedure and was done in phases one and two of the expansion as well.

Paula Miller, a spokeswoman for VDOT, said that as with segments one and two, VDOT will send out a weekly lane closure report and put out monthly project updates.

Want to learn more about the project?

To find out more about the project, visit i64widening.org.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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