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Most of the Virginia information here is contributed by Scott Kozel, who later created his own Roads to the Future covering highways in the Virginia area. He also examines Philadelphia area roads. I give it two thumbs up.

Washington Post commuter columnist "Dr. Gridlock" in January 2002 weighed in on the Hampton Roads area, home to most of the x64 3di's:

" The cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach run together, with no clear (to a visitor) boundaries.
   The major roads that service this large area are I-64, I-264, I-464, I-564 and I-664.
   These roads head in all directions and are interconnected, so that one ends and another begins with little notice. (The primary routes, such as Routes 13 and 17, require frequent turns, some poorly marked.) Most confusing place I've traveled through in a long time."

More I-64 trivia: of all the north-south interstates I-64 crosses (95, 81, 77, 75, 65, 57, 55), I-65 in Louisville is the only one that does not overlap with I-64 for a few miles or so.

I-164  Indiana (link)

21.24 miles [1note]; south from I-64 to US 41 south of Evansville. Requested as an interstate and approved in 1968, the highway was projected as a 14.3-mile, $20 million highway in 1970. It was completed in 1991. [3note]

Interstate 164 is known as the Robert D. Orr highway, after the Evansville politician who served as governor from 1981-1989. [9note]

Proposed I-69 extension will probably affect I-164

Interstate 69 currently leads from the Canadian Border at Port Huron, Mich. to Indianapolis. In 1991 an extension was proposed (info - Chris Lawrence) to carry I-69 southwest toward the Texas - Mexico border.

The I-69 proposal incorporates a number of existing highways, either as is or with slight improvements. I-164 is one of these routes, and in early 2004 Indiana and Kentucky state transportation officials detailed plans for I-69 near Evansville.

I-69 would use more than 18 miles of I-164, possibly starting at I-64, before "entering a new-terrain alignment just east of the Green River Road interchange, traveling south across a new bridge over the Ohio River. On the Kentucky side of the river, the highway will connect to the Breathitt Parkway in Henderson." [12note]

If this happens, a small segment of I-164 would be orphaned, no longer connecting to I-64. This would probably become a spur of I-69. If the I-69 project starts overlapping I-164 at I-64, then there would be nothing left of I-164 proper.


I-264  Kentucky (link)

22.93 miles [1note]; serves Louisville. Work on Interstate 264, Kentucky's first freeway, began in 1948. It was completed in August 1974. [11note]

I-264 is known locally as "the Watterson," as its full name is the Henry Watterson Expressway. It was "designed as a [US 60] bypass around Louisville, but the traffic jams have made this almost pointless." [4note] In the 1980s and 1990s, it was rebuilt to modern standards. With respect to this, I-265 serves as an outer loop, making Louisville the only city to have consecutive 3-digit interstates.

Henry Watterson served as editor of Louisville Courier-Journal for 50 years, well known for his leadership in southern progressivism and his opinion writing skills. [7note]

See also:


I-264  Virginia (link)

25.07 miles [1note]; serves Norfolk area. The original 13.17 mile [13note] segment ran from I-64 in Chesapeake to I-64 in Norfolk; the 12-mile Va. Beach - Norfolk Expressway (formerly VA 44) was added to it in 1999. After widening projects in 1998 and 1999, I-264 has eight or more lanes from downtown Norfolk to Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. [5note] From Scott Kozel:

"... The originally designated interstate was completed in 1968, and did not include the Downtown Tunnel / Berkley Bridge complex (completed 1952). The tunnel had a single two-lane tube, and the bridge had a single four-lane span. For years, this road had to serve the I-264 corridor. VA got interstate money approval from the feds in 1978 to upgrade that facility and include it in I-264. The 2.2 mile project to build a parallel two-lane tube, parallel four-lane bridge, and upgraded interchanges was completed in 1991, and cost about $250 million. An item of interest is the fact that the Berkley Bridges have bascule spans, making them among the few drawbridges on the Interstate Highway System. A high-level bridge was considered, but the confined urban waterfront area made that impractical from an interchange standpoint. Another note, the Downtown Tunnel had tolls removed in 1988."

I-264 Extended in 1999

In 1997, the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk adopted resolutions to renumber the Virginia Beach-Norfolk Expressway (VA 44) as an eastward extension of I-264. The change was intended to foster economic growth and improve guidance to tourists. In August of that year, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the change, and on November 14, 1997 AASHTO concurred. [17note] In January 1999, the Federal Highway Administration approved, clearing the way for the renumbering. Later that year, I-264 markers were installed, and VA 44 exits renumbered. [2note]

Scott Kozel writes: "The VA 44 Virginia Beach - Norfolk Expressway was opened in 1967, and runs 12 miles, from Norfolk to the Virginia Beach oceanfront, and it was a toll road until 1995. The car toll was 25 cents. The original road had four lanes (two each way). It was widened to six lanes in the 1980s, and to eight lanes in the early 1990s. The toll booths were removed soon after the tolls ceased."

See also: Scott Kozel's Interstate 264.


I-364 (preliminary numbering)  Virginia (link)

This was an early proposed number for I-464 (scroll down :-). The number was changed on Nov. 10, 1958. [10note]

See also:


I-464  Virginia (link)

4.71 miles [1note]; north from I-64 in Chesapeake to I-264 in Berkley, near Norfolk. Meets I-264 between the Downtown Tunnel and the Berkley Bridge. Planned in 1971 or earlier [1note]; completed in 1991. [5note]

The original planned number for this highway was I-364. [10note].

See also: Scott Kozel's Interstate 464.


I-564  Virginia (link)

3.03 miles [1note]; Interstate 564 connects Admiral Taussig Boulevard and Naval Station Norfolk to I-64. Virginia DOT lists the length as 2.77 miles. [5note]

I-564 opened in segments: [5note]

  • I-64 to International Terminal Boulevard: 0.79 miles, June 1, 1971. This is when I-64 was completed in the area.
  • Continuing northwest: 0.46 miles, Nov. 20, 1974.
  • Complete to Navy base: 1.52 miles, Aug. 4, 1977.

Intermodal Connector and Third Hampton Crossing

Two plans are afoot to extend I-564. The first is a 2.6-mile project to upgrade and connect I-564 to the Norfolk International Terminals, a mile or two west. A Location and Design Public Hearing was held in 2000.

This project would upgrade part of I-564 and then add a short westward spur to the Terminals. Plans are to move the I-564 designation to this spur. The leftover northern part of I-564 would get a new number. [14note]

The second plan is an ambitious project to add another bay crossing. Studies for the Third Hampton Roads Crossing started in 1993, a year after the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) carrying I-664 was completed. In 2000, two area committees recommended "Corridor 9", which includes the following: [15note]

  • A new mid-span MMMBT spur, leading eastward from south of South Island, over to the I-564 Intermodal extension. This would be four general-purpose lanes and two multimodal lanes, in three 2-lane underwater tubes. An extension of the I-564 designation over this spur is likely.
  • a new spur from extended I-564 southward to VA 164
  • widen the MMMBT to 10 lanes north of spur
  • widen the MMMBT to 6 lanes south of spur
  • widen existing I-564 to 8 conventional lanes + 2 multimodal (bus or passenger rail)

See also:


I-664  Virginia (link)

20.21 miles [1note]; crosses the James River from Newport News to meet again with I-64/264 south of Portsmouth.

Funding an Outer Beltway, or Persistence Pays Dividends

In 1968, the Virginia Department of Highways (now VDOT) petitioned the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for funding to build a planned 20.5-mile beltway (very close to where I-664 was eventually built). The FHWA agreed the request was justified, but that 11.3 miles of I-64 in the design stage would need to be dropped for Virginia to stay within its mileage allocation. [5note]

Averse to dropping a key section of freeway (including the Hampton Roads Bridge and I-64/564 interchange), the state instead proposed keeping I-64 and designating the remaining 9.2 miles to a beltway to be determined later. Virginia then proposed that interstate funds be applied to the northernmost miles of the road and that state funds be used for the remainder. The FHWA agreed and designated the road I-664 in April 1971. [5note]

The first 9.2 miles of funding carried I-664 only partway across the water. In 1979, the state secured funding for the addition 1.9 miles to reach the south shore, and around 1983, was allowed to use Interstate 4R funds (normally designated for rehabilitation of existing highways) to finish the remaining 9.4 miles. [5note]

Building I-664

In December 1983, Interstate 664 opened from I-64 to the edge of Newport News; in January 1988, it was extended into Newport News. [5note] Six miles from I-64 to US 17 in Suffolk opened on January 17, 1992. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (aka MMMBT, see below) opened April 30, 1992, completing I-664.

Cutting out the Middleman

Most of the information here is from Scott Kozel's site, and before I send you there, here's a quote from the author:

"The 21-mile expressway from I-64 in Hampton to I-64/I-264 in Chesapeake completed in April 1992. Includes the 4.6 mile Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT, or 3M). The MMMBT cost about $450 million, and includes a four-lane tunnel that is just under a mile long, two man-made portal islands, and 3.5 miles of twin trestle.

Northbound on the MMMBT is one of the most spectacular views on any road I know of; Hampton Roads makes a 'V' with one branch to your ten o'clock, and the other branch to your two o'clock. You see an enormous expanse of water, left, right, and ahead of you, with the landfall of the Peninsula dead ahead. On the ten o'clock branch, you see the Newport News Shipyards, on the two o'clock branch, you see the Norfolk Naval Base. Typically, you will see two or three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers moored in the distance, and many other ships.

"Another nice feature, the 3M is toll-free. The name comes from the fact that the duel between the two Civil War ironclads was fought less than a mile from the where the tunnel is today."

A bit of MMMBT trivia

The second 'M' in 'MMMBT' -- Merrimac -- was not the real name of the Confederate ship in the famous ironclad battle. The Merrimac had been scuttled by the Union Navy and was raised by the Confederates, retrofit with iron, and renamed the Virginia. [16note] In the history books, the Northern name stuck, and that's why the "3M" is not the MVMBT.

See also: Scott Kozel's Interstate 664.


I-864 (cancelled)  Virginia (link)

I-864 doesn't really qualify for a dead interstate, since it was only briefly planned for a renumbering of an existing road. The info is here only to answer "what's the deal with this I-864 I heard about?"

Why was I-864 considered? I-64 makes a huge arc around Norfolk as you travel eastbound, and at its end "I-64 East" heads west-northwest. This confuses motorists, and people were looking for a more sensical numbering of the 64/264/464/664 mess.

In January 1997, the 56-mile I-64/I-664 loop was designated and signed as the Hampton Roads Beltway. The beltway has the clockwise direction signed as the Inner Loop, the counter-clockwise direction signed as the Outer Loop (same concept as the Capital Beltway). [5note]

But how about...

The x64 situation still persists as something that needs fixing -- a sore thumb on a cul-de-sac of our Interstate highway system. In January 2002 a Virginian-Pilot reader suggested renumbering the 64-664 loop to 664 only for consistency.

The V-P roads columnist agreed in principle, but predicted business leaders would give the typical icy reception to "demoting" a 2-digit interstate highway to a 3-digit number: "Two-numbered interstates, in the language of big-business types, mean you're a place equipped with the necessary infrastructure for commerce." [8note]

Similar arguments have surfaced between Iowa and Illinois on the routing of I-80 vs. I-280 in the Quad Cities. In the same vein, why do Dallas-Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St. Paul have I-35E and I-35W when every other letter-suffix interstate has been renumbered? Because a King Solomon might be needed to determine who gets the "real" I-35 and who ends up with a 3-digit "bypass."


  1. Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA, Oct. 31, 2002.
  2. Southeastern Virginia Transportation News
  3. Congressional Hearings, Federal Aid Highway Act of 1970
  4. Brown, Tim
  5. Kozel, Scott (Roads to the Future)
  6. "Call it Route 50." Dr. Gridlock column, Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2002.
  7. Yurasko, William F.
  8. "Renumbering highways may be seen as bad for business." The Virginian-Pilot, Jan. 29, 2002 (thanks to Scott Kozel)
  9. Raker, Andrew. "Indiana 3dis." Personal email, July 20, 2002.
  10. Summers, Stephen. "Interstate system route numbering." http://www.nwindianahwys.homestead.com/INTER_MAIN.HTML. (23 April 2003)
  11. Cahal, Sherman. "Kentucky Interstate History." http://roads.cahaltech.com/content.php3?page=guides/ky/interstatehistory (2 Jan 2004)
  12. "Path chosen for I-69 leg skirting Evansville." Indianapolis Star, Feb. 11, 2004. (Thanks to Brian D.)
  13. FHWA Interstate Route Log, 1998
  14. Kozel, Scott. Kozel, Scott. "Hampton Roads Crossing Study." http://www.roadstothefuture.com/HR_Crossing_Study.html (30 July 2004)
  15. Skanska/Washington/BAM, for Virginia DOT. Third Hampton Roads Crossing: Conceptual Proposal. June 30, 2004.
  16. Davis, Kenneth C. Don't Know Much About the Civil War. New York: Avon Books, 1996.
  17. AASHTO SCOH. Report to the Special Committee on Route Numbering to the Executive Committee. Nov. 15, 1997.