More HOT lanes possible for Hampton Roads

A new plan is in the works to ease congestion in Hampton Roads.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) --  More High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes could come to Hampton Roads, under a new plan from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

HOT lanes are already being planned for Interstate 64 in Norfolk. But Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne presented a plan on Tuesday to install them on all of I-64 in Hampton Roads.

The first segment of HOT lanes will stretch from Interstate 264 to Interstate 564. Those are set to open by the end of this year.

A proposed second segment would run from Bowers Hill in Chesapeake to 264 in Norfolk, with a third segment running from I-564 to I-664 in Hampton. That third section would only happen after VDOT expands the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

On Thursday, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization unanimously passed a resolution to move forward with the network of HOT lanes. 

"We cannot pave our way out of congestion. It's got to be a multimodal solution," said Grindly Johnson, Deputy Secretary of Transportation. "So, right now what we're trying to do it give you an alternative, give you a choice." 

Hampton Roads VDOT officials will bring the plans to the state in September, according to VDOT spokesperson Paula Miller. 

A fourth potential stretch of HOT lanes would go from I-664 in Hampton to Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, but this stretch needs to be studied further. 

 "We need to go back and look if there were different commitments made on that piece of interstate when we constructed the HOV lanes," said James Utterback, VDOT Hampton Roads District Administrator. 

Secretary Layne said this plan could help traffic flow in Hampton Roads.

It's also important to remember HOT lanes are optional; drivers will still be able to use free lanes.

The idea is still in the early stages, but if approved, Layne says all the express lanes could open to traffic by 2024.

Hampton Roads Express Lane Proposal by 13News Now on Scribd

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