VDOT looking to make changes to I-64

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) - Traffic is something many people like to complain about, and almost every driver has an idea on how to fix it.

Well, for those of you who use Interstate 64 between Richmond and the beach, now's your chance.

VDOT just started an in-depth, three year study to look at what improvements need to be made to I-64 between Richmond and Hampton.

Though it's early in the process, it's not too early to make yourself heard.

Thousands of cars and trucks barrel down I-64 every day. VDOT started a study in January trying to figure out what improvements need to be made. Mike Pietrzyk uses the road all the time.

"Certain days like it is now, it's a very busy area," he said.

Like many drivers, he thinks an extra lane would get rid of a lot of traffic headaches. It may be easier said than done, but it's a popular solution for a lot of drivers.

"Generally the problem isn't construction or accidents," said Darline Rowe.  "It's just too many cars, not enough roads."

One idea we heard to cut down on traffic involve construction at all. It's just getting the slow pokes to get out of the fast lane.

"I think often people don't realize you drive in the right-hand lane unless one is passing," said Emily Slingluff.  "You'd certainly look in the rearview mirror to see all the people lined up behind you and see 25 cars so just move to the right-hand lane."

But don't expect to see any big changes anytime soon. This study won't be done until 2014 and just because a study is being done, doesn't mean any big plans will be put into action. Still, drivers say now is the time to start moving.

"It's only going to get worse as the population grows and when the economy gets better, more traffic, more tourists," Pietrzyk said.  "I don't think it's going to get any easier."

VDOT says right now everything is on the table, but major changes like widening the interstate or adding HOV lanes won't be discussed until November at the earliest.

There's a public input meeting Thursday night with VDOT in New Kent County.

It starts at 5 p.m. at the New Kent Welcome Center off Vineyards Parkway.

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