I-64 Norfolk Express Lane Testing Moves Up a Gear
I-64 Norfolk Express Lane testing is marking the latest phase in the conversion of HOV lanes in Norfolk to a new form of lane.
A report on Channel 13 noted Virginia Department of Transportation is testing its electronic tolling equipment for the I-64 Norfolk Express Lane starting Friday night.
The test is to ensure the system works properly when tolling begins in December.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is scheduled to test the system during the evening and daylight hours for about two weeks. There will be no tolling until the Express Lanes open.
We have noted how these high occupancy express lanes may be rolled out in the entirety of I-64 by 2024.
The Express Lanes are also known as HOT Lanes. Vehicles with at least two people will be able to ride these lanes for free. They will use an E-ZPass Flex, a type of transponder that allows drivers to switch to a carpooling (HOV) mode.
Virginia’s Most Dangerous Intersection - the improvement project (VDOT)
Lone drivers will pay to use the lanes. Aubrey Layne, Secretary of Transportation said express lanes may appear on the High Rise Bridge and around the Bowers Hill area of Chesapeake by 2021.
It’s Layne’s belief that these express lanes are a better option that tolling on tunnels such as the Downtown and Midtown in Norfolk where drivers have no choice.
During the testing phase, drivers who are traveling beneath the tolling gantry by Tidewater Drive in Norfolk will see periodic flashing of strobe lights behind them as they pass through.
Drivers traveling in the general purpose lanes may see the strobe lights while traveling in the opposite direction. We hope these features will not prove distracting.
The I-64 Norfolk Express Lane may help regulate traffic at a congested and dangerous intersection.
Tolling cameras and E-Z Pass readers will also be tested during the trial period.
The 8.4 miles of HOV lanes face being converted to Express Lanes from the I-264/I-64 Interchange to I-564.
Once open, variable tolling will be introduced during Express Lanes hours which are 5 a.m.-9:00 a.m. westbound and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. eastbound Monday through Friday only.
Once the Express Lanes are up and running, single-occupant drivers will have an additional option to use the Express Lanes during peak travel periods. They will pay a variable toll using EZ Pass.
The I-64/I-264 intersection in Norfolk is the most dangerous drive in the Commonwealth, we noted recently.
If you have been injured on this stretch of road or elsewhere, please call our Norfolk accident injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077.
Griff O Hanlon