To provide immediate congestion relief and to allow for more travel lanes during a possible evacuation, the first segment of Interstate 64 widening in Newport News consists of approximately 5.6 miles, from west of Route 143, Jefferson Avenue (Exit 255) to just east of Route 238, Yorktown Road (Exit 247). This corridor ties into an eight-lane interstate system to the east and has been known to be the most congested section of I-64 on the Virginia peninsula. The roadway improvements include the addition of one travel lane and one 12-foot-wide shoulder, in each direction to widen the existing four-lane section to six lanes.
In order to limit the amount of necessary right of way and to avoid potential impacts to the existing interchanges, designers chose to widen the roadway within the existing median of interstate. Based on this design, drainage is being handled with numerous precast concrete median inlets connected to a reinforced concrete storm sewer system. The precast inlets and reinforced concrete pipe were supplied by Concrete Pipe & Precast, LLC. Shirley Contracting Co., LLC, out of Lorton Virginia, installed the pipe and inlets as part of their $84.8 million contract, awarded to design and construct this first segment of the I-64 widening project.