This report details notes from various trips around the Hampton Roads area at the beginning of July, 2002.

Back in Tidewater (various short errands)

Hi gang. If you haven't noticed from my posts the past couple days, I've made it back to Norfolk. Got my pictures back, and I have some interesting road-related photos from the ports we hit while I was at sea (Norway, Portugal, Crete, Turkey). Over the next few weeks, time permitting, I'll be scanning them in and posting them on my website.

In the meantime, since I made it back Saturday afternoon, I've logged almost 500 miles on my car (lots of errands, plus having to go back to the ship a couple times, up in Yorktown). Got a few notes:

- For Scott Kozel's pages, I have pictures of the man-made portal islands for the Thimble Shoal Channel tunnel of the CBBT, as viewed from the Channel itself.

- There are BGSes leading out of the restaurant/fishing pier area on the CBBT. Was too far away to read what was on them (even with "big eyes"), but they appeared to have US 13 shields, the direction of travel (i.e. North or South), and a Control City.

- Got one long-distance pic of the south island at HRBT, before my camera ran out of film. Plan on getting more next time I head out to sea, including closer-up shots of Fort Wool.

- Pinners Point Interchange: not much noticeable yet, although construction signs are up on the side streets near US 58/MLK Exwy, and what looks like a construction barge is sitting in the water just east of the current end of VA 164. Will be interesting to see whether they plow through some of the old homes, or if they plow through a shipping terminal area (not certain offhand which route was chosen). One concern is that completion of this interchange will put additional pressure onto an already-crowded Midtown Tunnel....though this may be a good thing if it accelerates funding allocation for a 2nd tube.

- I-64 Penninsula: construction continues, well underway.  Bridge piers are going up for the future flyovers at I-64/US 258, as well as at Magruder Blvd. Temporary signals have been installed both on US 258/Mercury Blvd and on Hampton Roads Center Parkway to allow left turns to access the EB I-64 onramps (the latter due to the closure of SB Magruder Blvd). Some of the former overhead BGSes along I-64 have been salvaged and are reposted at ground level. Also, it looks like the new I-64 bridge over US 258/Mercury Blvd will be about 3 feet higher than the existing bridges, based on the height of the bridge currently going up in the median.

- A good indicator of why I-64 needs to be widened out to Williamsburg soon: a 3-car accident on EB I-64 at VA 105/Fort Eustis Blvd had the left lane blocked, and created a 7 mile backup that lasted over 2 hours. What is significant is that there was enough NON-WEEKDAY traffic to cause such a backup.

- For SPUI and others with I-64 VA exit lists: with the completion of the new connector to Busch Gardens, the VA 143 interchange near Williamsburg, old Exit 243, is now Exit 243B. Exit 243A is signed as TO US 60, and with the Busch Gardens portion as white letters on a brown background (almost like a banner or plate, but only where the Control City goes).

- The connector is interesting. It's a trumpet interchange, with the WB off-ramp being the loop, but said loop has a 40 MPH ramp speed posted.  All of the ramps, except the ramp ends at I-64 itself, are concrete, and the ramps to/from the east have 2 lanes. The WB on-ramp extends as an auxiliary lane to Exit 242B. No speed limit posted, but I would presume it's at/near 55. The connector has a folded diamond interchange at US 60 (no control cities on the exit BGS, just a US 60 shield), also in concrete (US 60 widening in the vicinity was done in asphalt), and the connector continues right up to the gate at Busch Gardens. No access to/from VA 143. Heading back to I-64, control cities at I-64 were Richmond (WB) and Newport News/Norfolk for EB, IIRC.

Someone mentioned about there being only one directional on I-64 between I-264 in VA Beach and I-264/664 at Bower's Hill. While on my errands yesterday, I found where it USED to be...on SB (sic EB) I-64, on a BGS on the Indian River Rd overpass....the direction has since been greened out.

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