Gov. McAuliffe celebrates completion of first segment of I-64 widening project on the Peninsula

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Governor Terry McAuliffe was on hand Friday morning to celebrate the completion of the first segment of a widening project along Interstate 64.

The project provides congestion relief to one of the most heavily traveled areas on the Peninsula.

“It was a gridlock, a parking lot," the Governor told News 3. "You couldn’t bring businesses here. Families were angry - couldn’t see their kids play a ball game.”

VDOT said the construction project is on-time and on-budget.

“This is a great day for us. This has been a priority," Gov. McAuliffe said.

Drivers will now see an additional travel lane and shoulder lane in each direction from Jefferson Avenue to Yorktown Road (exit 247).

VDOT told News 3 they are now turning their attention to the second and third segments of the widening project.

“Hopefully here in three or four years, they’re gonna see a much more expanded ride," Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne said. “The number one thing that autonomous vehicles want is smooth roads.”

Officials said these projects are also helping to improve economic development in the region.

“You cannot bring businesses to an area that is just plain congested. Huge problems in Hampton Roads," the Governor explained.

The entire project should be completed by 2021.