The Downtown Tunnel carries the highest traffic volume of any tunnel in Hampton Roads.
The first tube, which is now the westbound lanes, opened May 23, 1952, and is 3,350 feet in length from the tunnel entrance to the tunnel exit. The second tube, the eastbound lanes, opened on March 4, 1987, and is 3,813 feet in length from the tunnel entrance to the tunnel exit.
The Interstate 264 (I-264) Downtown Tunnel carries I-264 and links together Norfolk and Portsmouth and consists of parallel tunnel tubes beneath the Elizabeth River. The tunnel has a connecting drawbridge, the Berkley Bridge, which extends over the Elizabeth River and connects I-264 and I-464 on the Norfolk side of the tunnel.
No pedestrians or bicyclists are allowed to travel through the tunnel.
Downtown Tunnel Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation of the Interstate 264 (I-264) Downtown Tunnel began August 9, 2013 with full weekend tunnel closures westbound. The Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project Team suspended daytime weekend tunnel closures following an updated rehabilitation schedule beginning November 1, 2013.
Rehabilitation of the I-264 East Downtown Tunnel began in July 2014. During rehabilitation, nightly complete tunnel closures were necessary in order to safely complete the work. The improvements made will extend the life of the 61-year-old facility as well as improve its safety and energy efficiency. View the Tunnel Rehabilitation Fact Sheet.
Rehabilitation consists of structural, fire, life and safety improvements including: Tunnel fireproofing for structural protection; A new jet fan ventilation system LED tunnel lighting which provides brighter lighting and uses less energy; Tile and concrete repair Exit and safety signage.