VDOT News - Hampton Roads



Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715


Oct. 23, 2013

Work to take place seven nights a week; tunnel to be open during the days and early evenings on the weekends and weekdays

PORTSMOUTH – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in partnership with the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project team, is moving to nightly closures of the I-264 West Downtown Tunnel. The remaining scheduled work for this year will close the westbound tunnel for approximately 26 nights during the week and weekends with the exception of holidays and special events. The tunnel will be opened during the day and early evening hours throughout the weekdays and weekends.

“While the full weekend tunnel closures were progressing as planned, the Portsmouth community asked VDOT to look into options, such as week night closures, to mitigate impacts to the business community,” said VDOT Deputy Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick.  “VDOT and ERC listened to the localities and carefully considered alternatives that would protect the safety of motorists and construction workers, while at the same time minimize impacts particularly to motorists and also businesses.  As a solution, work will occur during the nights only.  All nightly work requires the full closure of the westbound tunnel while it is being rehabilitated.  Bi-directional traffic is not an option because of safety issues.  The safety risks are simply too high to run two-way traffic as a matter of planned construction operations.  VDOT would only allow bi-directional traffic in the event of an emergency.” 

The I-264 Westbound Downtown Tunnel will be closed the following times:

  • Oct. 25 – Oct. 28, 8 p.m Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, and 8 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday
  • Oct. 28 – Nov. 1 – The tunnel will be open, but there will be scheduled single lane closures  Monday through Thursday nights.  The project team will use this team to notify motorists and the community of the changed schedule.
  • Remainder of year – Tunnel will close during the weeknights 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and weekend nights 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. 

Work for this year is expected to wrap up in December and will resume later in January with nightly closures.

Traffic will be detoured to the I-64 High Rise Bridge.  Expect delays of up to 30 minutes.  Other alternate routes include Route 58 Midtown Tunnel and the tolled South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.

For the latest information on lane closures, go to www.va511.org or call the VDOT Traffic Information Line at 757-361-3016.

Rehabilitation of the existing Downtown and Midtown tunnels is part of the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project to improve safety and extend the life of these facilities. Rehabilitation of the 61-year old I-264 West Downtown Tunnel has been under way since August 9, 2013 and is scheduled to continue through May 2014.

Headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC, is the private partner of the Virginia Department of Transportation for the design, construction, finance, operations and maintenance of the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project. For more information on the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project, visit www.DriveERT.com.





Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 25, 2013