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Interstate 64

 

Routing

Interstate 64 connects the St. Louis metropolitan area east to the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeast Virginia. Along the way, Interstate 64 connects to East St. Louis, Illinois; Evansville, Indiana (via Interstate 164); Louisville, Kentucky; Charleston, West Virginia; and Richmond, Virginia. Interstate 64 overlays U.S. 40 in Missouri, replaced U.S. 460 in Illinois and Indiana, and parallels U.S. 60 through most of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.

In the Norfolk-Hampton Roads area, Interstate 64 forms half of the Tidewater's belt system, which causes Interstate 64 to curve south then westward, giving the eastbound direction a western orientation. The furthest east point along Interstate 64 is located near its eastern interchange with Interstate 264. At one time, a proposal was floated to renumber Interstate 64 south of Interstate 664 as Interstate 864, the Hampton Roads Beltway. However, this proposal was rejected by business leaders in the area who did not want to have a two-digit Interstate replaced with a three-digit Interstate. Had this proposal come to pass, Interstate 64 would have ended at its junction with Interstate 664. However, Interstate 64 south of Interstate 664 is signed as part of the Hampton Roads Beltway (Interstates 64 and 664), and it is easier to describe direction of travel as "inner" (clockwise) or "outer" (counterclockwise).

Also of interest in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia for Interstate 64 is the four lane Hampton-Roads Bridge Tunnel. This formerly tolled facility connects Norfolk near the Willoughy Spit community with the city of Hampton at Phoebus. The bridge-tunnel system features a four lane viaduct over the mouth of James River witha four lane tunnel. Opened in 1957, the bridge tunnel carried only two lanes originally. Revenue bonds for the crossing were paid off by 1976 and thus tolls removed. Coinciding with the toll removal is the opening of the parallel two-lane span, thus bringing the crossing up to its current capacity. Since this aspect of Interstate 64 was 90% covered by FHWA Interstate funds, the highway became a toll free affair. The U.S. 17 James River bridge to the west also saw its tolls removed in 1976 on the same day.1

Although the current western terminus of Interstate 64 is at its interchange with Route K in O'Fallon, Missouri, it will be extended to meet Interstate 70 at Wentzville via U.S. 40-61. For more, see the "Future Aspirations" section.

Interstate 64 was extended in 1993 from East St. Louis, Illinois, through St. Louis to Chesterfield, Missouri via the Daniel Boone Expressway (U.S. 40). Here, eastbound Interstate 64/U.S. 40 and southbound U.S. 61 approach their junction with U.S. 67 (Lindbergh Boulevard) at Exit 28 just east of Interstate 270 near Creve Coeur. Photo taken by AARoads (10/16/04).

Parallel/Historic U.S. Routes

Interstate 64 and U.S. 40-61 are merged from the western terminus until Ladue, where U.S. 61 turns south. Interstate 64 and U.S. 40 remain merged through St. Louis, and they separate upon crossing the Mississippi River. East of St. Louis, Interstate 64 replaced former U.S. 460, which used to follow portions of Illinois 15, 142, and 14 and Indiana 66 and 62 en route to Louisville, Kentucky. At Louisville Interstate 64 parallels U.S. 60 more or less east to Virginia. Exceptions to this include the toll section where Interstate 64 is combined with Interstate 77 (West Virginia Turnpike) and between Staunton and Richmond, where it parallels U.S. 250.

Planned Improvements

In St. Louis, Interstate 64 is undergoing major improvements. Construction of The New I-64 began in March 2007. Interstate 64 between Ballas Road and Interstate 170 were closed between January 2, 2008, and December 31, 2008. In 2009, Interstate 64 between Interstate 170 and Kingshighway Boulevard will be closed to traffic in both directions, with reopening expected in December 2009. The project includes a new, freeway-to-freeway interchange between Interstate 64 and Interstate 170 as well as improved bridges, additional lanes (through and merge lanes), wider shoulders, and improved sight distances.

In Louisville, Kentucky, major improvements and upgrades are planned for the interchange between Interstates 64, 65, and 71 at the "Spaghetti Junction" (Kennedy Interchange) as part of the larger Ohio River Bridge Project. While this project primarily focuses on the construction of a new Interstate 265 bridge ("East End Bridge") and doubling capacity of the Interstate 65 Downtown Bridge by building a parallel span for northbound traffic, the improvements planned for the Interstate 64, 65, and 71 interchange are significant. Improvements cited from the project webpage include:6

  • Increased capacity for the ramp system
  • A new interchange design at Mellwood Avenue and Interstate 64
  • A new partial interchange at Interstate 71 and Frankfort Avenue/Ohio Street
  • Realignment of Interstate 64 between Interstate 65 and Interstate 71 to a new alignment south of the existing alignment
  • Extension of Witherspoon Street one mile to Frankfort Avenue/Ohio Street

In December 2006, costs were estimated for the improvements slated for Interstate 64, Interstate 65, and Interstate 265 in Louisville. Reaching over 60% of initial estimates, the cost for two new Ohio River Bridges and the reconstruction of the downtown "Spaghetti Junction" interchange between Interstates 64, 65, and 71 was estimated to be $3.9 billion. The components of this major construction initiative are as follows:8

  • Interstate 265 Connector/East End Bridge Cost: $1.29 billion; Completion: 2013.
  • Interstate 65 Downtown Louisville Bridge Replacement Cost: $868.4 million; Completion: 2019.
  • Interstate 64, 65, and 71: Reconstruct "Spaghetti Junction" Cost: $1.74 billion; completion: 2024.

Design of the new bridges and confirmation of this schedule of construction should be completed by early 2007. Funding is a major concern, and lack of funding could push back the construction phase. The high cost of reconstructing the downtown interchange has piqued the interest in some residents to remove Interstate 64 from downtown Louisville (see section below), since one of the tenants of this plan would include elimination of the freeway west of Interstate 65 along the waterfront, thus negating the much of the required "Spaghetti Junction."

Future Aspirations

Interstate 64 has gradually been extended westward slowly. The original historical terminus, was in Illinois. Prior to the early 1990s, Interstate 64 terminated at the East St. Louis interchange with Interstates 55 and 70. Through the 1990s, the western endpoint was moved to Interstate 270 in the western suburbs along the U.S. 40 freeway, and it was located at the approach to the U.S. 40-61 bridge over the Missouri River until 2003. Interstate 64 was extended first to Interstate 270, again to the Missouri River Bridge, then to the Missouri 94 interchange, and now to Missouri K. The last section, which is anticipated to be completed in 2007, will extend Interstate 64 northwest to Interstate 70 in Wentzville. For more, visit The New Interstate 64 (Missouri Department of Transportation webpage).

In 2004, the western terminus was extended west to O'Fallon, and Interstate 64 now terminates just west of the newly opened interchange at Route K. Missouri DOT erected new "WEST I-64 ENDS/Continue on WEST U.S. 40/NORTH U.S. 61" This is where Interstate 64 will end for awhile, as the segment between Route K and Route DD, although without stoplights, has a couple at grade crossings that MoDOT is not going to work on until after this summer's installation of an interchange at U.S. 40 and Route N and the modification of ramps at the I-70/U.S. 40/61 interchange in Wentzville. Once U.S. 40-61 is upgraded to Interstate standards between the Missouri River and Junction Interstate 70, that section of the road will become part of an extended Interstate 64.2

The future western terminus of Interstate 64 is also the point of connection to the Avenue of the Saints. Although much of the Avenue of the Saints corridor is proposed for four-lane, divided highway, it is possible that U.S. 61 between Wentzville and Hannibal (near the current western terminus of Interstate 72) may be upgraded to Interstate standards. If so, it is possible that this section of U.S. 61 may be assigned the Interstate 64 designation, thus extending the route even further northwest.

Remove Interstate 64 from Louisville?

In November 2005, Tyler Allen, owner and president of USA Image Technologies in Louisville3, and J.C. Stites, founder and CEO of Autodemo LLC4 created a webpage that calls for the removal of a portion of Interstate 64 adjacent to downtown Louisville along the Ohio River. Under their plan, Interstate 64 would be realigned onto Interstate 265 in Indiana and Interstate 265 in Kentucky via the proposed West End Bridge, which is planned to connect the two sections of Interstate 265 in the two states. With this bypass in place, the remaining sections of Interstate 64 east of Interstate 65 and west an area near Roy Wilkins Avenue renumbered as Interstate 364. A surface boulevard along the southern riverfront would allow for access through the restored waterfront area where Interstate 64 used to be. On their webpage, Allen and Stites cite benefits including reduced cost of the proposed improvements to the Interstate 64-56-71 interchange (locally called Spaghetti Junction), increased access to the Ohio River, making downtown Louisville more vibrant, and provide for a stronger regional economy.5 For more, visit Allen and Stites' 8664.org.

History

Connecting Indiana with Kentucky, the double decked Sherman Minton Bridge (a dual suspended arch bridge) carries Interstate 64 over the Ohio River. It was completed and opened to traffic in 1961.7

The two-lane West Virginia Turnpike opened to traffic on November 8, 1954; it was later added to the mileage of Interstate 77 and a portion of Interstate 64 in West Virginia. The project to upgrade the turnpike from two to four lanes was completed and opened to traffic on September 2, 1987.7

The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel opened to traffic in 1957. On May 10, 2002, the bridge-tunnel saw 107,942 vehicles drive through the facility.9 The bridge-tunnel was originally a toll facility but today operates without tolls. A relief route (Interstate 664) provides an alternative to Interstate 64 via the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel.

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Missouri K - O'Fallon, Missouri
The western terminus of Interstate 64 used to be at Exit 10, Junction Missouri 94. It was extended west by one mile, to Exit 9, Junction Missouri K. WB I-64 crosses the Missouri River along the old span of the Daniel Boone Bridge. The bridge currently handles three narrow lanes of traffic. After winding through the bottoms of Weldon Spring and passing the Missouri Research Park, I-64 adds a forth lane to accommodate traffic exiting onto Route 94. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (01/31/04).
Westbound Interstate 64 reaches Exit 10, Junction Missouri 94. At the busy Missouri 94 interchange, traffic exiting to St. Charles utilizes the right lane of the bridge, while Westbound traffic heading toward Defiance and ultimately toward Agusta and the Missouri Wineries will utilize the left lane. Toward the east, Missouri 94 will go through Weldon Spring and St. Peters on its way to connecting to the new Missouri 364 freeway, which opened in December 2003, is providing some relief to this stretch of Interstate 64 with an extra ten lanes across the Missouri River to accommodate intercounty trafic. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (01/31/04).
Westbound Interstate 64 reaches Exit 9, Junction Missouri K. This is the slip ramp from westbound to the collector-distributor roadway between Missouri 94 and Missouri K. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (01/31/04).
View of the collector-distributor lanes as seen from the westbound Interstate 64 lanes. The left lane funnels traffic entering westbound Interstate 64 from Missouri 94. Missouri K is the main street through the quick growth areas of southern O'Fallon. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (01/31/04).
Interstate 64 nudges westward to the interchange with Missouri K just west of Missouri 94. Pictured here is the Interstate 64 westbound on-ramp from Missouri K northbound in St. Charles County. The interchange between the two highways opened in early 2004. Photo taken by Jason Oesterreicher (06/18/04).
Past the Missouri K entrance ramp to westbound Interstate 64, a sign panel alerting drivers to the end of Interstate 64 has been placed. This sign in the typical MoDOT style announces not only the end of the designation bu also the designation of the road that continues. In this case, the expressway contines northwestward as U.S. 40/61. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (01/31/04).
Historic Western Terminus #3 - Missouri 94 - Weldon Spring, Missouri
Perspectives from Missouri 94 west
New junction shield assembly posted on Missouri 94 westbound. The new assembly indeed features Interstate 64, while the old junction assembly, posted behind the construction sign in the background, only features U.S. 40 and 61 shields. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/04/02).
This sign on Westbound Missouri 94 (which in this area physically goes North/South, this section physically going South) at the Boone Expressway in Weldon Spring. The entrance sign going Westbound/Northbound (the direction AWAY from the Missouri River) clearly has an Interstate 64 shield on it. For the record, Missouri 94 is exit 10, making it roughly ten miles east of Interstate 70 and is roughly three miles west of the Missouri River. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (06/02).
Perspectives from Missouri 94 east
Eastbound (northbound) on Missouri 94 as it approaches the eastbound ramp to the U.S. 40 and 61 freeway. New signage now includes Interstate 64 as this photo displays. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/04/02).
Eastbound (northbound) on Missouri 94 entrance sign for (Interstate 64/)U.S. 40 westbound and U.S. 61 southbound. This sign clearly displays an Interstate 64 shield, which gives hints that MoDOT intends to extend the designation westward past Missouri 94. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/04/02).
Perspectives from Interstate 64 east
On Eastbound (Interstate 64/)U.S. 40/Southbound U.S. 61 just after the Missouri 94 entrance ramp, an older sign assembly with a "TO" banner above the "EAST I-64" shield is displayed. However the second set of shields (visible in the background), seen closer in the next photobox, is newer and lacks the "TO" above "EAST Interstate 64". Photo taken by Brian Dowd (06/02).
Interstate 64 eastbound shield after the Missouri 94 interchange. There is no "TO" banner, and thus one is to believe that this is currently the first eastbound reassurance shield. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (06/02).
Historic Western Terminus #2 - Missouri River Bridge - Chesterfield, Missouri
Perspectives from Interstate 64 west
Interstate 64 ended at this sign, about one-half mile east of the Missouri River bridge in Chesterfield. U.S. 40 and U.S. 61 continue northwest from this point, and the Interstate standard freeway temporarily ends. Construction is ongoing to convert U.S. 40-61 west of this point up to Interstate standards; once complete, Interstate 64 will be extended west to meet Interstate 70. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (11/00).
Close-up of the End Interstate 64 sign on Westbound U.S. 40 and Northbound U.S. 61. Update: The end advisory signs have since been removed. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (12/00).
Perspectives from Interstate 64 east
Eastbound U.S. 40 and Southbound U.S. 61 (now Interstate 64) at the historic beginning of the Interstate in Chesterfield. There were no signs actually indicating the start, so this was an approximation. The end sign Pictured above is in the same location roughly as this exit. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (11/00).
Historic Western Terminus #1 - Interstate 55/70 and U.S. 40, East St. Louis, Illinois
Perspectives from Interstate 55 north and Interstates 64-70 east
Northbound Interstate 55, Eastbound Interstates 64/70 and U.S. 40 approaching the Interstate 64/Illinois 3 split. This is one of two instances of three interstate highways that share one stretch of roadway (the other is Interstates 39-90-94 in Wisconsin). Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
At this overhead sign, Interstate 55 north/Interstate 70 and U.S. 40 east split left, while Interstate 64 east splits to the right, along with Southbound Illinois 3. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
Perspectives from Interstate 64 west
Westbound Interstate 64 at Exit 5, 25th Street. The next exit is the major junction with Interstate 55, Interstate 70, and U.S. 40, one and one-half miles ahead (Exit 3). Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
Westbound Interstate 64 at Exit 4, Baugh Avenue. Exit 3 is the junction with Interstate 55, Interstate 70, and U.S. 40, and it's one mile ahead. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
The left lanes of westbound Interstate 64 lead to the Mississippi River bridge that carries Interstate 55, Interstate 64, Interstate 70, and U.S. 40 into St. Louis, Missouri. The right lanes link to northbound Interstate 55 and eastbound Interstate 70. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
Westbound Interstate 64 continues straight ahead to join westbound Interstate 70, U.S. 40, and southbound Interstate 55. The right lane exits onto Northbound Interstate 55, Eastbound Interstate 70, and Eastbound U.S. 40. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
This is the split between westbound Interstate 64 (which leads to Interstate 70, U.S. 40, and southbound Interstate 55) and the ramp to Northbound Interstate 55, Eastbound Interstate 70, and Eastbound U.S. 40. This is where Interstate 64 used to end, until it was extended into Missouri along the U.S. 40 freeway. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
Perspectives from Interstate 55 south and Interstate 70 west
First signage for the approaching junction with Interstate 64 along southbound Interstate 55 and westbound Interstate 70 and U.S. 40. Photo taken by AARoads (10/16/04).
Southbound Interstate 55 and westbound Interstate 70/U.S. 40 approach Exit 3, Exchange Avenue, followed by the left exit to eastbound Interstate 64 and northbound Illinois 3 (Exit 2). Photo taken by AARoads (10/16/04).
Southbound Interstate 55 and westbound Interstate 70/U.S. 40 reach Exit 3, Exchange Avenue. The next exit along westbound is Exit 2, Junction Interstate 64 east and Illinois 3 north, followed by Exit 2C, Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge. Photo taken by AARoads (10/16/04).
Southbound Interstate 55 and westbound Interstate 70 and U.S. 40 at the left exit for eastbound Interstate 64. All four of those routes, along with southbound Illinois 3 and the Great River Road, continue to the right, leading to St. Louis and downtown East St. Louis. Photo taken by AARoads (10/16/04).
Perspective from Interstate 64 east
First overhead reassurance marker for Interstate 64 eastbound after the Interstate 55/70 interchange. Note the dual freeway (collector/distributor) approach used on this part of the freeway. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (02/14/03).
Eastern Terminus - Interstates 264 and 664; U.S. 13, 58, and 460 - Portsmouth, Virginia
Perspectives from Interstate 64 Inner
Interstate 64 terminates at the western terminus of Interstate 264 and southern terminus of Interstate 664. U.S. 13, 58, and 460 also intersect with these Interstates at and around this interchange. This photo looks at advance signage on Interstate 64 Inner. Photo taken by Tony Payne (4/00).
Interstate 64 (east) Inner at the split with ramps to Interstate 264 and Interstate 664. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (3/01).
End Interstate 64 - transition to Interstate 264 shield assembly. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (3/01).
End Interstate 64 - transition to Interstate 664 shield assembly. Photo taken by Tony Payne (4/00).
Another perspective of the End signage at the transition from Interstate 64 Inner to Interstate 664 north. Vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (1/01).
Perspectives from Interstate 664 south
The last Interstate 664 southbound exit is for U.S. 13 north/460 east/Military Highway (Exit 14). This ramp serves the Bowers Hill community. Meanwhile Interstate 664 motorists have two choices: Exit 15A for Interstate 264 east and Portsmouth/downtown Norfolk or Exit 15B for Interstate 64 Outer and Chesapeake/Virginia Beach. Photo taken by Jonathan Lebowitz (08/02).
Overheads at the terminus of Interstate 664 and split of Exit 15A and B. Note the West cardinal direction has been greened out on the Interstate 64 panel. Interstate 64 will again cross its child in 15 miles. Photo taken by Jonathan Lebowitz (08/02).
Perspectives from U.S. 58/460 east
This sign bridge for Interstates 64, 264, and 664 is located on U.S. 58/460 eastbound and shows the pending interchange with these three routes. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (12/17/01).

Sources:

  1. Kozel, Scott. "Re: [seroads] VDOT criticizes I81 plans." Online posting, Yahoo! Groups Southeast Roads and Transport , November 18, 2003.
  2. Dowd, Brian. Personal email, May 25, 2004.
  3. Plan would erase I-64 from downtown: Bridges proposal faces uphill battle by Chris Poynter, Louisville Courier-Journal, Friday, November 25, 2005.
  4. Software Marketing Perspectives Conference & Expo: Track One Sessions - includes brief biography of J.C. Stites
  5. Welcome to "86" Interstate 64 - site that proposes the removal (i.e., "86") of Interstate 64 from the downtown Louisville waterfront just west of Interstate 65 in front of downtown (by Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites)
  6. Kentucky-Indiana Bridges
  7. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System: Previous Interstate Facts of the Day by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  8. Bridge plan cost soars to $3.9 billion: New plan: Build eastern span first, by Marcus Green, Louisville Courier-Journal, December 5, 2006.
  9. Interstate 50th Anniversary Fact of the Day

Page Updated August 17, 2008.

 
Mileage

State Missouri
Mileage 14.69
Cities St. Louis
Junctions Interstate 270, Interstate 170, Interstate 44/55/70
State Illinois
Mileage 128.12*
Cities East St. Louis, Mt. Vernon
Junctions Interstate 55/70, Interstate 255, Interstate 57, Interstate 57
State Indiana
Mileage 123.33
Cities Evansville, New Albany
Junctions Interstate 164, Interstate 265
State Kentucky
Mileage 185.20
Cities Louisville, Frankfort, Lexington, Winchester, Mt. Sterling, Moreland
Junctions Interstate 264, Interstate 65, Interstate 71, Interstate 264, Interstate 265, Interstate 75, Interstate 75
State West Virginia
Mileage 188.75#
Cities Huntington, Charleston, Beckley, White Sulphur Springs
Junctions Future Interstate 73/74, Interstate 77, Future Interstate 66, Interstate 77
State Virginia
Mileage 297.62+
Cities Covington, Clifton Forge, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro, Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk
Junctions Interstate 81, Interstate 81, Interstate 295, Interstate 95, Interstate 195, Interstate 295, Interstate 664, Interstate 264, Interstate 464, Interstate 264/664
TOTAL 937.71
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* - 4.14 miles on I-57, # - 63.88 miles on I-77, + - 30.40 miles on I-81
Interstate 64 Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
Indiana St. Henry 11,640 2002
Indiana New Albany 86,300 2002
Virginia NW of Lexington 8,300 2002
Virginia Staunton 50,000 2002
Virginia Charlottesville 41,000 2002
Virginia Richmond 141,000 2002
Virginia Williamsburg 45,000 2002
Virginia Newport News 149,000 2002
Virginia Hampton 145,000 2002
Virginia Norfolk 149,000 2002
Virginia Chesapeake 117,000 2002
Source: INDOT 2000 Annual Average Daily Traffic Volumes Map
Virginia Department of Transportation 2002 AADT
Complete Interstate 64 AADT data.

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