NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A new barge is set to begin service at the Port of Virginia next week.

The Richmond Express has arrived in the Norfolk Harbor and will make its way to Portsmouth Marine Terminal today.

Officials say the new barge will help reduce congestion on I-64 and by taking trucks off the roadway that would normally carry the cargo.

The Port of Virginia reports that, so far in fiscal year 2017 (began July 1, 2016),11,225 containers have moved between Richmond Marine Terminal and the Norfolk Harbor by barge, a 41 percent increase when compared with the same period in fiscal year 2016. This equates to 22,450 fewer round-trip, truck trips on regional roads/highways/interstates.

Also, the configuration of the new barge gives the port flexibility to move refrigerated containers, which is important to owners of cold cargo, port officials said.

The Richmond Express is undergoing final preparations and will be put into service February 6.