May 16, 2022 - Hampton’s test of restricting access to the Mallory Street Bridge during evening rush hour has reduced traffic in Phoebus significantly, Public Works Director Jason Mitchell said. Those restrictions will continue; however, a plan to add restrictions near the downtown ramp will be postponed.
New implementation timetables have not been set. The original plan was to:
Beginning June 1, traffic will be directed away from the Settlers Landing Road I-64 entrance near Hampton University between 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays for drivers headed through downtown toward the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. That restriction is designed to reduce traffic backups through downtown created by motorists attempting to bypass congestion on I-64 east. At times, those backups along Settlers Landing stretch all the way back to LaSalle Avenue. This test is scheduled to run through June 30.
Beginning July 1, the traffic pattern will switch: Motorists coming from the Phoebus area will be prohibited from turning left from Woodland Road to reach that ramp to I-64 between 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Residents along that road and local drivers have complained of backups as interstate drivers exit at Mercury Boulevard, drive to Woodland, and then get back on the interstate there. That test is scheduled to last for a month.
There is no change for anyone heading westbound on I-64, nor to drivers exiting in Hampton.
City streets are not built to handle excess traffic from backups at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. The problem should be relieved when the bridge-tunnel expansion is complete in 2025. Because the capacity of the tunnel is the limiting factor, drivers cutting in line do not help reduce the backup; they only make others wait longer.