VDOT Scraps I-64 Paving Job, Fixes Potholes

Thu May 27, 2004 - National Edition

RICHMOND, VA (AP) A $55 million plan to repave 60 mi. of Interstate 64 from Richmond to Newport News has been scrapped because there’s no money for the work in the new state budget, transportation officials announced May 13.

The repaving was to be part of Virginia’s preparations for Jamestown 2007, the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first English colony in the New World.

Instead, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will strictly fix potholes and repave only the worst sections.

“Hard choices have to be made to provide appropriate funding for the most-needed projects in the state,” VDOT Commissioner Philip A. Schucet said in a news release.

State officials said there is no money left for the interstate resurfacing after maintenance, continuing projects and debt payment.

The I-64 repaving was one of several projects included in the six-year program created by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The CTB said it would reduce its goals by $1.3 billion, or 14 percent, in June.

VDOT had planned to resurface all lanes of I-64 from Laburnum Avenue in Richmond to Jefferson Avenue in Newport News. The plan, which was to begin this summer, would have taken up to three years.

Three other major construction and maintenance projects are still scheduled for this summer on sections of Virginia’s main east-west interstate.

Although, contractors would have been required to work weeknights, commuters and beachgoers would have seen significant disruptions on the road.

“It should come as some relief to motorists,” VDOT spokeswoman Tamara Neale said.

Many of Virginia’s tourism destinations, particularly Virginia Beach, are reached primarily by I-64.