CHESAPEAKE - A regional transportation group believes there's a way to widen I-64 from the Peninsula to Richmond sooner than planned.

Instead of a full-blown Interstate makeover, staff engineers with the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization believe an interim option is repaving the current shoulders and using them to expand the congested stretch of highway to six lanes.

'It's not the end solution,' admits Director Dwight Farmer, 'but it's something we can afford in a bite-sized chunk.'

Farmer emphasizes that just a portion of the current shoulders would be used so there would still be room for drivers to pull over when needed.

The original concept of the I-64 widening involves tolls and expanding to eight lanes. Farmer says this can still be achieved with the temporary widening recommendation.

A representative with the Navy expressed concern Thursday with encroachment on a naval facility near the interstate.

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