Norfolk Intermodal Connector Opens
Motor carriers moving cargo to and from Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) are finding greater efficiency in reaching the terminal’s North Gate and nearby I-564 with the opening of the I-564 Intermodal Connector last week.
The connector is a dedicated ramp that provides an 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,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, “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. 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, according to Reinhart.
“We are investing $375 million at NIT to expand our container handling capacity by 400,000 containers,” he 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,” said Reinhart, “and we are grateful for the push to bring this project online before year’s end.”
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