A component of the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project, the VA 164 MLK Expressway is designed to relieve congestion at regional choke points and better connect Hampton Roads communities. This new highway extends the VA 164 to I-264 in Portsmouth, providing a direct route between the U.S. 58 Midtown Tunnel and the I-264 Downtown Tunnel, and creates a new alternate route between the Peninsula and the Southside of Hampton Roads by taking I-664.
The Project team began construction activities on the MLK Extension in November 2013. Scheduled work included widening of the roadway and bridges on Interstate 264 (I-264), replacement of the pedestrian bridge over I-264, extension of the MLK Expressway from London Boulevard to I-264 with an interchange at High Street, and aesthetic treatments from Turnpike Road to London Boulevard.
MLK Expressway Benefits
Everyone can benefit from using the MLK Expressway! Residents can use the MLK to avoid congestion traveling to Norfolk or Portsmouth during rush hours, allowing drivers to make real-time travel decisions to avoid congestion. The MLK Expressway also completes a new viable alternate route for everyday travel between the Peninsula and the Southside of Hampton Roads utilizing the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. Extending the MLK Expressway from London Boulevard to I-264:
- Provides more direct access between the Midtown and Downtown tunnels.
- Adds a shorter, more direct route to the Downtown Tunnel from Portsmouth.
- Allows motorists to easily choose between the Midtown or Downtown tunnels & better communicates traffic conditions via changeable message signs on the MLK Expressway.
Using the MLK Expressway
You can save time and avoid congestion by using the MLK Expressway. This new connection allows motorists to bypass back-ups at Bower’s Hill, avoid stop and go traffic on city streets, and take advantage of additional route options when the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is congested. Motorists will not pay a toll to use the new MLK Extension.
View our Travel Impacts page for more information about current construction activities that may impact your travel.