MLK Extension

Martin Luther King (MLK) Extension

The Project team began construction activities on the MLK Extension in November. Scheduled work includes widening of roadways and bridges on Interstate 264 (I-264), replacement of the pedestrian bridge over I-264, extension of the MLK Freeway from London Blvd. to I-264 with an interchange at High St., and aesthetic treatments from Turnpike Rd. to London Blvd. This work will be performed through a series of lane closures along with temporary and permanent I-264 ramp closures.

View our MLK Construction Brochure for more information on planned construction activities impacting I-264.

View our Travel Impacts page and Press Release page for more information about current construction activities that may impact your travel.

MLK Extension Benefits

Extending the MLK Freeway from London Blvd. to I-264 with a partial interchange at High St. will:
Provide more direct access between the Midtown and Downtown tunnels.
Add a shorter, more direct route to the Downtown Tunnel from Portsmouth.
Allow motorists to easily choose between the Midtown or Downtown tunnels.
Better communicate traffic conditions via changeable message signs on the MLK Freeway.

Tolling on the MLK Extension

Tolling on the MLK Extension will begin once the extension is complete.

All vehicles that use the MLK Extension and one of the tunnels as part of a single trip will pay $0.50 to use the MLK Extension. All vehicles that use only the MLK Extension will pay $1.00.

A vehicle taking a local trip in Portsmouth entering or exiting the MLK Extension from the High St. or Portsmouth London Blvd. ramps will not pay a toll.

 

MLK Extension FAQs

What is the MLK Extension?
The MLK Extension is being built to extending the MLK Freeway in Portsmouth from London Blvd. to I-264 with a partial interchange at High St. 
Where will I be able to enter and exit the MLK Extension?
Motorists will be able to enter and exit the MLK Extension via Route 164, I-264, or at London Blvd. and High St. interchanges.
When will the new MLK Extension be open?
The contractual date for completion of the new MLK Extension is Q4 2016. View the Construction Overview
What will the toll be on the MLK Extension?
All vehicles that use the MLK Extension (once complete) and one of the tunnels as part of a single trip will pay $0.50. All vehicles that use only the MLK Extension will pay $1.00. 
Where are the MLK toll gantries located?
When the MLK extension is completed, toll gantries will be installed near the I-264 tie-in locations. There will also be a gantry located north of the London Blvd. ramp on Route 164 near the Midtown Tunnel. 
If I'm traveling on Route 164 East and I take the London Blvd. exit, will I pay a toll?
Motorists traveling from the West Norfolk Bridge into Portsmouth that exit the MLK extension at the High St. or London Blvd. ramps will not incur a toll. Tolls for use of the MLK Extension will be $1.00 when traveling it in its entirety  (from London Blvd. to I-264) and $0.50 when used in conjunction with one of the tunnels (in addition to the tunnel toll). 
Why was it necessary to permanently close the I-264 Des Moines Ave. exit ramp and South St. entrance ramp for the MLK Extension?
These permanent ramp closures were studied and approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and identified as necessary to make the new MLK Extension connector ramps function safely and efficiently. They were initially shared with the public during the May 2011 design public hearings held by VDOT. 
What are the major impacts for I-264?

Construction impacting I-264 includes:
Permanent closure of I-264 East Des Moines Ave. exit ramp in November 2013.
Temporary closure of the London Blvd. interchanges, for up to 12 months beginning February 2014.
Temporary closure of the Frederick Blvd. exit ramp from I-264 East for up to 18 months beginning April 2014.
Permanent closure of I-264 West South St. on ramp in April 2014.
Single lane closures on I-264 East beginning in November 2013 and I-264 West beginning in April 2014.
Temporary closure of I-264 Pedestrian Bridge near Frederick Blvd. for nine months in March 2014 for removal and replacement.
Short term I-264 closures at night for setting bridge beams over roadway.