ROADS/BRIDGES: New MLK Expressway in Portsmouth, Va., opens a month early

The $300 million mile-long expressway extends the Rte. 164 Martin Luther King Freeway

December 01, 2016
Rte. 164 Martin Luther King Freeway

The Martin Luther King Freeway Extension, a new elevated roadway that connects the Midtown and Downtown tunnels in Portsmouth, Va., has opened a month ahead of its scheduled opening date.

Signs at each ramp and along Interstate 264 were uncovered Tuesday evening in preparation.

Construction of the $300 million, mile-long expressway began in November 2013. It extends the Rte. 164 Martin Luther King Freeway in Portsmouth from London Boulevard to I-264, providing a direct route for motorists between the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.

Digital message signs installed near the entrance points to the expressway on I-264 and Rte. 164 will communicate traffic conditions in real time, allowing commuters to make informed decisions on their chosen route .

Officials expect about 27,000 cars a day to use the Expressway.

This marks the second time Elizabeth River Crossing, the private company that manages tunnels and the expressway, has completed a project ahead of schedule. The new Midtown Tunnel tube opened in June, nearly six months ahead of schedule.