With warmer weather finally here, it's a good time for a status update on VDOT projects that will affect Peninsula traffic and in some cases no longer be a hindrance.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has five major road construction or improvement projects stretching from the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to Ironbound Road in James City County. In addition, construction for a new east-west connector between Jefferson Avenue and Warwick Boulevard could break ground later this year. Finally, a couple of long-term work zones have been removed in Newport News and James City County and are no longer traffic impediments.
The following is a description of ongoing, upcoming and recently completed projects, according to VDOT data.
•Fort Eustis Boulevard/Route 105 (Newport News) — Work to widen Route 105 between Jefferson Avenue and Route 17 to four lanes with a raised median in the middle began in late 2009. Construction is projected to be complete by spring 2012. Estimated cost: $15.8 million.
•Interstate 64/Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel — In August 2009, VDOT began work to upgrade electrical lighting in the east bound tube. Work projected to be completed this spring includes replacement of light fixtures and related wiring and conduit. Motorists should expect Sunday through Friday overnight single lane closures to accommodate work crews. Contract: $8 million.
•Interstate 664 (Hampton/Newport News)— Beginning at the I-64 and I-664 interchange and Exit 3, a 3.15 mile long stretch of pavement is being rehabilitated with "spot overlay, median barrier and under drain repairs" in addition to concrete joint replacement and guard rail upgrades. The work, expected to be finished this spring, has been ongoing since May 2008. Cost: $12.9 million.
•James River Bridge — Work crews are repairing the deck, repaving and repainting markings on the Route 17/Route 32 span over the James River. The work began in October 2009, and is projected to finish this month. Single lane closures are scheduled, Sunday through Thursday, in the northbound lanes from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. and from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. in the southbound lanes. Cost: $2.1 million.
•Ironbound Road (James City County) — Located between Strawberry Plains Road (Route 616) and Longhill Connector Road (Route 612), the Ironbound Road (Route 615) work began in the fall of 2010 and is expected to be complete by winter 2012. Project specifications include widening portions of Ironbound Road to four lanes, intersection improvements and construction of additional turn lanes and a shared-use recreational path. Phase one of the project, which includes significant construction north of New Town Road on the west side of Ironbound Road, is expected to be completed later this year. Cost: $16.6 million.
•Warwick Boulevard (Newport News) — Extensive work in the Christopher Newport University area to construct new right turn lanes, upgrade utilities, widen the road to three lanes in each direction and install new lighting and emergency vehicle-sensitive traffic signals began in 2006 and wrapped up in 2010. Total cost for three phases: $43.7 million.
•Lightfoot Road, John Tyler Memorial Highway and Strawberry Plains intersection (James City County) — VDOT removed final components of the work zone at the intersection of Routes 199, 5 and 616 last week . Crews constructed new turn lanes and repaved the roadway to create a better traffic flow when making right hand turns. Construction began in July 2010. Cost: $653,510, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
•Middle Ground Boulevard (Newport News) — This 1.2 mile long project will be located between J. Clyde Morris Boulevard and Oyster Point Road. Work that could begin late this year will include construction of a new four-lane divided road that will connect Jefferson Avenue and Warwick Boulevard with a new bridge over the CSX railroad tracks. The project will include a sidewalk on the south side of the road and a shared-use path on the north side of the road. The contract is expected to be awarded this spring and right of way acquisitions are scheduled for late 2011 and completed in 2015. Estimated cost: $60.9 million.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun