Traffic Snarls at Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel

By John Cooper, Hampton Injury Lawyer

As a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, Virginia (VA), you would think I would be used to our primary traffic bottleneck which is getting from Norfolk to Hampton headed west on Interstate 64 (I‑64).  However, it still makes me upset when I get stuck in that traffic where it takes 20 minutes to go 3 miles.

My most recent experience was trying to go to Roanoke, Virginia on a Sunday afternoon.  It didn't even enter my mind that I needed to worry about traffic on a Sunday afternoon.  Afterall, it wasn't even yet the summer.  As soon as I got on the highway from Trona Boulevard in Norfolk I saw the backup.  It seems like almost any time of day or night there can be congestion at the bridge-tunnel.

Although I've been a personal injury lawyer for nearly 30 years and have spent a lot of time thinking about traffic issues the way that traffic flows and gets jammed up still amazes me.  The problem on the Norfolk side on this particular Sunday looked bad enough to have been caused by some major traffic wreck. 

However, once I got to the other side after crawling across the bridge tunnel at 10 miles an hour, there was nothing there.  On the Hampton side, the traffic was moving perfectly normally.  So it's just a matter of the wave pattern of traffic where once everybody slows down to a crawl there's no way to prevent it from staying that way for some period of time. 

Again I'm sure a traffic engineer can explain it to me but it is maddening because it looks like there's no reason whatsoever.  Even when you get to the other side there's still only two lanes of traffic so it can't just be the volume of cars.

I do think that the frustration of sitting stuck in traffic for no reason in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area is a major reason for traffic wrecks.  Once you get through the tunnel there is a real tendency to want to speed up perhaps even beyond the limit to make up for lost time.  I have been complaining about HRBT congestion for years but it doesn't get any better.

I know that my foot gets heavy after that situation because I am so displeased that 30 minutes has been added to what's going to be a 5‑hour drive.  In any event, I do think that the traffic problems in Hampton Roads are one strike against our quality of life.  I love being from Norfolk and Virginia Beach.  It was a great place to grow up and it's a great place to raise your kids.  However, the Hampton Roads bridge tunnel is an incredible source of aggravation even if it may also end up being a good source of business for my automobile accident practice.

If you have been injured in an accident on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, call us today for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

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