Sections of I-64 and I-664 in Hampton Roads to see speed limit increase
Beginning Thursday, March 1, speed limits will increase from 55 mph to 60 mph on three sections of interstates 64 and 664, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Interstate 64 from the Hampton Roads Center Parkway to Hampton Coliseum at I-664, I-664 from Hampton Coliseum to Bowers Hill, and I-64 from Bowers Hill to the Virginia Beach/Chesapeake city line are the sections where the speed limit will be increased.
The increase includes travel through the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel. Parts of I-664 are already 60 miles per hour, and the change creates a consistent speed limit along this section of the Interstate corridor.
The increased speed limit is based on a traffic engineering study of the eastbound and westbound corridors of I-64 and I-664 that examined traffic patterns, speeds, traffic volume, crash history, entrance and exit points, roadway characteristics and other design factors before recommending speed limit changes.
"The goal of the speed limit increase is to keep traffic moving in each lane at relatively similar speeds," said Mike Corwin, VDOT Hampton Roads regional traffic engineer. "Traveling at similar speeds reduces the need for lane changes and the likelihood of accidents."
Large variations in speed can lead to accidents as faster traffic slows down or changes lanes to avoid slower drivers ahead, studies show.
The I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel route will have a higher speed limit than the conventional route through the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and help traffic flow during peak travel times.
The Virginia State Police will be enforcing the increased speed limit once crews begin posting the new signs, and drivers should obey all traffic laws.
The installation schedule for the new speed limit signs is as follows, weather conditions permitting:
• Chesapeake: I-64 Westbound, Thursday, March 1; I-64 Eastbound, Friday, March 2.
• Cities of Chesapeake/Suffolk/Newport News/Hampton: I-664 Northbound, Monday, March 5; I-664 Southbound, Tuesday, March 6.
• Hampton: I-64 Westbound, March 7; I-64 Eastbound, March 8.