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I-564 Intermodal Connector Opens; Unimpeded Access to NIT North Gate and Interstate for Motor Carriers Dedicated Ramp Will Speed Cargo Movement, Help Congested Roadway
NORFOLK, VA – Motor carriers moving cargo to and from Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) are finding even greater efficiency in reaching the terminal’s North Gate and nearby I-564 with today’s opening of the I-564 Intermodal Connector.
The Connector is a dedicated ramp that provides a safe, unimpeded link between the North Gate and the interstate. The newly-opened $169 million, four-lane roadway will speed the flow of truck-borne exports and imports while reducing the volume of vehicles on Hampton Boulevard, one of the City of Norfolk’s busiest thoroughfares.
“The Port of Virginia® is growing and projects like this are helping us keep pace and provide the necessary access to deliver the goods coming through this port – exports and imports — to manufacturers and consumers throughout our market and build our status as the Mid-Atlantic’s global gateway,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
“Equally as important, the North Gate and I-564 Connector projects will combine to alleviate pressure on Hampton Boulevard. We estimate that over time, as many as 700 trucks a day will forego Hampton Boulevard and head straight to the Interstate.”
In June, the port opened its new 26-lane, $42 million North Gate. The North Gate incorporates twenty-first century technology and is key to improving delivery of service to the motor carriers and to the cargo owners. The increased gate capacity at NIT – to 42 total lanes for motor carriers — is critical to the larger expansion taking place at the terminal, Reinhart said.
“We are investing $375 million at NIT to expand our container handling capacity by 400,000 containers,” Reinhart said. “In order to handle more cargo at the berth and stack yard, our means of moving cargo to and from our terminals – rail, barge and truck – must expand and modernize in parallel.”
The expansion of NIT’s southern container stack yard is underway and the pace of work will pick-up significantly in January 2018. The construction will be completed by late 2020.
The I-564 Intermodal Connector project was managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the phase connecting to the North Gate was opened as scheduled.
“VDOT understood the significance of this project relative to the port’s ability to expedite cargo and we are grateful for the push to bring this project online before year’s end,” Reinhart said.
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. In fiscal year 2013, The Port of Virginia provided more than 374,000 jobs and generated $60.3 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth.