Hurricane Evacuation Guide
Interstate 64 Lane Reversal
When Would Virginia Reverse Traffic on I-64?
While cities and counties issue specific evacuation orders, only the governor can order a lane reversal on Interstate 64. The I-64 reversal plan begins in Norfolk at mile marker 273, just east of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. It ends at the Interstate 295 interchange east of Richmond at mile marker 200.
(In addition to hurricanes, I-64 might be reversed for other emergencies but only by order from the governor.)
In The Event of a Lane Reversal on I-64:
- No traffic will be allowed to travel east on I-64 between mile markers 273 and 200.
- All I-64 eastbound lanes and ramps between Norfolk and Richmond will be closed to eastbound traffic, from mile marker 273 to the I-295 interchange (mile marker 200) just east of Richmond.
- All traffic entering I-64 at 4th View Street (Exit 273) will travel in the westbound lanes.
- All traffic entering I-64 west of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel will travel in the westbound lanes.
- Exit 234 in Williamsburg (Route 199) for gas, food, lodging and hospital
- Exit 205 in Bottoms Bridge for gas and food
Without exiting, motorists on the reversed lanes can access a temporary comfort station on I-64 near Jefferson Avenue (mile marker 255) and the rest areas in New Kent County.
Motorists exiting the reversed lanes at Exit 234 or Exit 205 cannot re-enter the reversed lanes.
Once motorists exit the reversed lanes, they can re-enter I-64 heading west using the regular I-64 westbound ramps.
All motorists traveling in the I-64 westbound lanes can exit and enter the interstate as they normally would, though some entrance and exit ramps could be closed for traffic control.
Interstate 64 Hurricane Gates
Why did the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) install the gates?
VDOT installed the gates as a safety measure to prevent motorists from entering reversed lanes during a hurricane evacuation or other emergency as ordered by the governor.
Why are two gates at each end of the ramp?
Having gates at both ends of each ramp provides an additional measure of safety.
Gates ensure the ramps are completely inaccessible when closed to prevent motorists from driving on the shoulder to go around the gates.
If the gates are down, how do I exit the interstate?
Only two exits will be available to motorists traveling on the reversed lanes.
These two exits provide motorists an opportunity to seek gas, food, lodging and medical care before they reach the Interstate 295 interchange (mile marker 200) east of Richmond:
- Exit 234 in Williamsburg, where services include gas, food, lodging and a hospital
- Exit 205 at Bottoms Bridge, where services include gas and food
Motorists exiting the reversed lanes cannot re-enter the reversed lanes. Once a motorist exits the reversed lanes, they can re-enter I-64 using the regular I-64 westbound ramps.
A temporary comfort station will be located on I-64 at Jefferson Avenue (mile marker 255) to provide restrooms and water. Motorists cannot exit I-64 at Jefferson Avenue.
The New Kent County rest areas also will be open.
Who will monitor the exits and roadway during the evacuation?
VDOT, Virginia State Police and Virginia National Guard personnel will be on-duty at each ramp, the Jefferson Avenue comfort station and the two rest areas on I-64 in New Kent County.
What happens at the I-295 interchange?
The I-64 lane reversal ends at the I-295 interchange east of Richmond (mile marker 200).
Motorists on I-64 westbound lanes must take Exit 200 and travel on I-295 north toward Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia or I-295 south toward Petersburg.
Motorists on I-64 reversed lanes (normally eastbound) will cross over to I-64 west lanes and continue west toward the I-95 interchange.
During a lane reversal of I-64, emergency plans call for:
- VDOT Safety Service Patrols on I-64 to provide basic motorist assistance on the road or at the rest areas and comfort station
- Tow trucks on standby along I-64 to move disabled vehicles to the grassy shoulder area to keep travel lanes open
- Vans on standby to take stranded motorists to the closest available shelter
- Drinking water, restrooms and emergency information at the New Kent County rest areas, at the Jefferson Avenue comfort station on I-64 (mile marker 255) and at the Suffolk weigh station on Route 58
For information about how to prepare for all types of emergencies, visit www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia