Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hampton Roads Beltway
Hampton Roads Beltway is a loop of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664 highways which link the communities of the Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads which surround the body of water known as Hampton Roads in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States.
In January, 1997, a 56-mile-long I-64/I-664 loop was designated by the Virginia Department of Transportation (and signed) as the Hampton Roads Beltway. This was chosen instead of renumbering the whole road to Interstate 864.
I-64, the portion which was completed first, makes a huge 35 mile long arc around the area, from Hampton through portions of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake and around Portsmouth to reach Bower's Hill at the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp.
The newer I-664 portion of 21 miles connects with I-64 at Bowers' Hill in Chesapeake and crosses through Suffolk and Newport News to reconnect with I-64 in Hampton, completing the loop.
The beltway has the clockwise direction (as looking down at a map of the area) signed as the Inner Loop, and the counter-clockwise direction signed as the Outer Loop. Essentially, I-64 forms the eaten portion and I-664 the western portion of the beltway.
Building of Interstate 64 was the first priority in the region, and a portion of Interstate 264 through Portsmouth was completed even as I-64 finally reached its eastern terminus at Bower's Hill in Norfolk County (now the City of Chesapeake. Even before I-64 was built, from some of the earliest planning stages, there were hopes of a circumferential highway to interstate standards for Hampton Roads. Some proposals envisioned state and local and/or toll funding funding if necessary to achieve that goal. However, the Interstate 664 projects eventually were successful in reaching the goal in 1992.
At one time, a proposal was floated to renumber Interstate 64 south of Interstate 664 in Hampton as Interstate 864, the Hampton Roads Beltway. However, this proposal was rejected by business leaders in the area who did not want to have an established two-digit Interstate replaced with a new three-digit Interstate. Had this proposal come to pass, Interstate 64 would have ended at its junction with Interstate 664. However, as a compromise, Interstate 64 southeast of Interstate 664 was signed as part of the Hampton Roads Beltway (Interstates 64 and 664), and it is easier to describe direction of travel as "inner" (clockwise) or "outer" (counterclockwise).
Bridge-Tunnels across Hampton Roads
A major aspect of the Interstate Highway system in the Hampton Roads area are the two bridge-tunnels which each cross the harbor of Hampton Roads. Both form a portion of the Hampton Roads Beltway, and are the only direct crossings of Hampton Roads.
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) is the 3.5-mile-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64. It is comprised of bridges, trestles, man made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor. It connects the independent cities of Hampton and Norfolk.
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel has two 12-foot-wide lanes each way, on separately built structures. The original two-lane structure replaced a ferry system and opened November 1, 1957 at a cost of $44 million dollars.
The construction of the original Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel was funded with toll revenue bonds. The bonds were paid off before the second portion was opened.
The construction of the $95 million second portion of the HRBT was funded as part of the Interstate Highway System as authorized under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, as a portion of I-64, which means that it was funded with 90% FHWA funds from the Highway Trust Fund and 10% state DOT funds.
When the second span was opened to traffic in 1976, the tolls were removed.
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT, locally called the "M&M") is the 4.6 mile-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 664. It is comprised of bridges, trestles, man made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor. It connects the independent cities of Newport News and Suffolk.
The MMMBT cost $400 million to build, and it includes a four-lane tunnel that is 4,800 feet long, two man-made portal islands, and 3.2 miles of twin trestle. It was named for the two ironclad warships which engaged in the famous Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862 during the US Civil War. The battle took place within approximately 1 mile of the current Bridge-Tunnel structure.
Major Cities Along the Route
- Hampton, Virginia
- Newport News, Virginia
- Suffolk, Virginia
- Chesapeake, Virginia
- Portsmouth, Virginia
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- 2005 Rand McNally "The Road Atlas 2005" - newest feature- interstate mileage by state
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details