Friday, January 5, 2018

New Gateway To Virginia Tech Open

SALEM — Virginia Tech in coordination with the Virginia Department of Transportation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to open VDOT's new diverging diamond interchange on Route 460 that will lead drivers onto Southgate Drive and into Virginia Tech or to the relocated Research Center Drive to the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport and the Corporate Research Center. The new interchange, only the second of its kind in the region, will officially be open to traffic December 14. 
“We’re happy to see this day for many reasons, including improved safety, a beautiful new entrance to our campus, and better access to the growing infrastructure that supports our vision for the university’s future,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “We’re grateful to everyone who made this happen, including past and present governors, legislators and staff, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, Branch Highways, and VDOT.  Virginia is very fortunate to have an innovative Department of Transportation that is willing to work collaboratively with institutions like ours to develop the future of our region.”
About the Project
The $46.7-million VDOT project replaces the signalized intersection at Route 460 and Southgate Drive at the entrance to Virginia Tech with a diverging diamond interchange. It eliminates the last at-grade signalized intersection on Route 460 from the I-81 interchange and the Town of Narrows. In addition, two new bridges were constructed over the Route 460 Bypass for the interchange and three underpasses for the trail network were constructed or extended.
When the new interchange opens, drivers coming to Virginia Tech from Route 460 will use the new interchange to access Southgate Drive. The existing signal at Southgate Drive will be deactivated and the ramps at the interchange will take drivers onto Southgate Drive. In addition, Research Center Drive will be relocated and extend to the CRC and the existing Research Center Drive will be renamed Beamer Way and will temporarily extend through to Innovation Drive until Beamer Way is closed at the Huckleberry Trail crossing in 2018.
Benefits of the Diverging Diamond Interchange
A new and innovative design, the diverging diamond interchange increases safety and moves a higher volume of vehicles without increasing the number of lanes. A diverging diamond interchange
  • Reduces congestion by allowing traffic to keep moving through an intersection
  • Improves safety by allowing free flowing turns when entering or exiting the roadway, eliminating left turns against oncoming traffic and reducing the number of traffic signal phases
  • Provides better sight distance at turns and fewer chances to conflict with other vehicles, which results in fewer crashes.
Driving through the Diverging Diamond Interchange
When driving through the interchange, drivers will travel temporarily to the left side of the road.
Drivers should
  • Proceed through the traffic signal at the entrance to the interchange and follow their lane to the opposite side of the roadway.
  • Pay close attention and follow signs and pavement markings that will guide them through the interchange.
  • Be patient with other drivers in the area.
Resources for drivers, including graphics and videos, are available on VDOT’s website at
Drivers can join the conversation now on Twitter by sharing their experience driving through the new interchange at #VTGateway.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Agency Seeks Partner Qualifications For New Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has formally initiated procurement and will begin searching for a private sector partner to deliver the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion project.
Following a briefing to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on Dec. 6, 2017, and concurrence from the Transportation Public-Private Partnership Steering Committee on Dec. 12, 2017, VDOT has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for interested teams to share their capabilities and experience to best deliver the HRBT as a design-build contract under the Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA). The current project planning estimate is between $3.3 and $3.8 billion, which will be refined as the scope is more fully developed.
The HRBT Expansion project will build another bridge-tunnel and widen the four-lane segments of Interstate 64 in Hampton and Norfolk to ease daily congestion between the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads, a corridor vital to Virginia’s economy, military readiness and regional connectivity. Traffic on the HRBT’s existing four lanes exceeds 100,000 vehicles per day during peak summer traffic.
VDOT will use RFQ responses to determine proposers’ qualifications to design and construct this complex project. For the tunnel portion of the work, teams may present their capabilities in immersed-tube tunneling, bored tunneling or both methods. 
RFQ responses are due to VDOT by March 2, 2018, with qualified short-listed teams to be notified in April 2018. These short-listed teams will then be issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to obtain detailed information on their technical approach to deliver the project, as well as binding price proposals. The RFP process is anticipated to start in spring 2018, with the contract award planned for early 2019. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2019 and reach completion in 2024.
The expanded HRBT will become part of a future regional network of Express Lanes, as presented to the CTB in July 2017, with free lanes remaining available to all motorists at all times. The majority of project funding will be provided by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, with federal support and other resources anticipated.
Further information about the HRBT Expansion, including procurement details and the project’s planning-level design concept, which will be refined by the proposer teams during the RFP phase is available at:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Site Provides Information About VDOT Activities In Residential Areas

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has launched a new website focused on providing information to property owners and residents about maintenance activities and issues that affect residential areas.
The site, VDOT and Your Neighborhood, provides details and expectations about maintenance work, as well as contact information for assistance when issues occur.
“We want people to know about and understand the maintenance work that goes on in their neighborhoods,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “The information found on VDOT and Your Neighborhood isn’t new, but having these commonly discussed topics in one place makes it quick and easy to find answers when questions arise.”
The site content is based on the most frequently asked questions regarding neighborhoods. Included on the site are topics such as paving and pothole repairs, drainage, snow removal and claims. Information about speed limits, signs, residential traffic issues and more can also be found there.
The website also features a snowplow tracker map tool. This allows VDOT and contractor trucks equipped with automatic vehicle location technology to be monitored during snow removal operations, when snowfall reaches two inches or more.
“Sometimes VDOT work can be disruptive and unexpected,” said Maintenance Division Director Branco Vlacich. “This site will provide details about maintenance activities so residents know what to expect.”
As the platform grows, additional topics that affect neighborhoods and homeowners will be added.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I-64 Express Lanes Tolling Begins Jan. 10

NORFOLK – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin tolling the 64 Express Lanes the morning of Wednesday, January 10, 2018. During operating hours (5 a.m.-9 a.m. westbound and 2 p.m.-6 p.m. eastbound Monday through Friday), motorists will need an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex to access the 8.4-mile stretch of Reversible Roadway between the I-264 Interchange and I-564. Outside of operating hours, the lanes will remain free and open to all motorists.
During operating hours, motorists who wish to ride toll-free must meet the HOV-2+ (High Occupancy Vehicle) requirement and have an E-ZPass Flex transponder switched to “HOV ON”. To pay the variable toll during operating hours, solo drivers may use a standard E-ZPass transponder or an E-ZPass Flex with “HOV ON” covered.
 The 64 Express Lanes are designed to provide more choices for travelers while increasing the efficiency of the corridor for all drivers. Until now, the 64 Reversible Roadway has been open only to HOV-2+ during peak travel times. When the 64 Express Lanes begin January 10, it will be the first time solo drivers in Hampton Roads will have the choice to legally use the lanes as an alternative to the free general purpose lanes during peak travel times. Dynamic tolling, in which the price fluctuates based on user demand, is designed to increase the number of people using the lanes while maintaining minimum speeds to provide a more reliable trip for travelers.
 “We can’t pave our way out of congestion,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “We want travelers to get the most out of the highway space we have available, and our data shows that the current HOV lanes aren’t the best way to do that in Hampton Roads. The 64 Express Lanes will offer solo drivers the choice to use the lanes, while still encouraging carpooling.”
 “We have been working to improve travel times and reliability for commuters in Hampton Roads,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “The 64 Express Lanes will help us further that goal.”
 To assist with the launch, VDOT is extending the hours at its E-ZPass Customer Service Centers at 1701 Church Street, Norfolk, VA 23504 and 4010 Victory Boulevard, Portsmouth, VA 23701. The Customer Service Centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday between January 2-5 and January 8-12. Weekend hours will remain noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
 Motorists interested in exchanging their standard E-ZPass transponder for an E-ZPass Flex may visit, call the toll-free number at 877-762-7824 or visit an E-ZPass Customer Service Center. The exchange is free. Motorists may also obtain a new E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex device at one of our E-ZPass On-the-Go retailers, the locations of which are also available at Please note that transponder exchanges are not available at the On-the-Go retailers.
 You can find general information about the 64 Express Lanes and a list of Frequently Asked Questions by visiting