VDOT considers HOT Lanes for more parts of I-64

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Virginia Department of Transportation is considering adding more High Occupancy Toll Lanes to I-64 throughout Hampton Roads.

Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne presented the idea during the Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting on Tuesday.

HOT Lanes have already been approved for 64 from the 264-interchange to the 564-interchange. The reversible lanes will start later this year.

The tolls are optional, Layne said. Solo drivers can choose to continue to drive in free lanes during busy times or choose to pay to ride in a toll lane. Drivers with a passenger can ride in the toll lanes for free. Layne said the goal is to reduce congestion in Hampton Roads. Similar Express Lanes on I-95 in Northern Virginia have reduced congestion, Layne said.

Layne said the latest proposal is more "visionary" and plenty of work still needs to be done before approval. Segment Two of the proposal would put the lanes on 64 to Bower's Hill. Segment Three would add them through the HRBT into Hampton. Segment Four would continue them on 64 up to Jefferson Avenue.

"It's really a realization of the limitations of the amount of funding we have and the amount of inconvenience we would have if we were to widen the interstate," Layne said.

Layne stressed plenty of public feedback is needed as the project continues to take shape.