An operation to raise high-voltage power lines over Interstate 64 -- a maneuver necessary for construction of the Interchange Improvements Project -- was completed successfully over two nights in late May.
The work required a complex traffic control effort that involved multiple interstate stoppages, which were scheduled for late evening and early morning to limit the impact to motorists. Weather posed another challenge, forcing crews to suspend operations one night.
The transmission lines, which already crossed I-64, had to be further elevated so Tutor Perini Corp., the contractor for Phase I of the Interchange Improvements, has enough clearance for its equipment to build a new ramp that will reduce congestion and improve safety between I-64 west and I-264 east.
First, Dominion Energy erected new 160-foot-tall transmission towers earlier this spring along Curlew Drive, which runs perpendicular to and under I-64. But to move the lines from the old towers to the new ones, traffic on the interstate had to be stopped long enough to give Dominion crews time to safely make the transfer. A pl
an was developed that involved VDOT, Virginia State Police, Norfolk Police, Dominion and a number of VDOT consultants and contractors. The maneuver also required the coordination of traffic control at several ramps at the interchange.
Bobby Badary, utilities construction manager for VDOT's Hampton Roads District, was out until 2:30 a.m. overseeing the operation the night it was completed. The next morning he praised all involved, calling it "professionalism at its best."