Before I-64 expands from four lanes to six in York County, area residents are invited to provide their ideas and opinions on the project.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting Thursday to discuss the proposed plans for widening I-64 through York County, according to a VDOT press release.
“It’s about including the citizens,” said Brittany McBride Nichols, VDOT spokeswoman. “We want them to come in and see the proposed plans, and provide their input as well. We want a lot of people to be there- that’s the point.”
Exhibits of the project will be on display and VDOT representatives will attend the meeting, according to the release. The meeting will be held at Bruton High School between 4 and 7 p.m. Thursday.
The project will widen an eight-mile stretch of I-64 between Exit 233 and a point roughly a mile west of Exit 242, and is referred to as Segment III. Segments I and II of the I-64 widening lie east of Segment III.
Residents of local neighborhoods, including Queens Lake, said they intend to attend the meeting.
“We don’t want to pick a fight with VDOT,” said Jack Dooley, who owns a property in Queen’s Lake. “We understand and support the expansion. We just want Queen’s Lake to be taken care of.”
Dooley is a member of the I-64 Task Force, a coalition of residents from Queens Creek and nearby neighborhood. The Task Force has collected more than 200 letters expressing concern from nearby residents and will provide them to VDOT at Thursday’s meeting.
Dooley said their collective concerns are the increased levels of sound stemming from interstate traffic and construction, and water runoff from the project.
“Neighbors say they used to barely be able to hear the highway. Now it’s a constant roar,” Dooley said. “We want to make sure that, as opposed to sitting in an office and working in a computer model, we would like to have acoustic engineers come out and take another reading.”
Dooley said VDOT engineers have visited the neighborhood, and neighbors have been informed VDOT does not believe sound will be an issue. Dooley said he disagrees and he hopes VDOT will construct a noise-preventing wall between the interstate and the neighborhood.
Queen’s Lake, Dooley added, has accumulated silt since the initial construction of I-64. He said he is optimistic the water retention ponds VDOT proposed to construct along the interstate will help alleviate the problem.
“We’re not experts but we feel fairly confident they’re going to do the right thing,” Dooley said.
Segment III construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2018 and will cost an estimated $311 million.
Residents who are unable to attend the meeting can still submit comments on the project via email. Comments and questions should be sent to Janet Hedrick at Janet.Hedrick@VDOT.Virginia.gov, and “I-64 Segment III Capacity Improvements Comment” should be placed in the subject line.
Submissions will be accepted through May 28, according to the release.