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Author Topic: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk  (Read 6959 times)

roadman65

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US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« on: September 04, 2011, 06:45:09 PM »

I was just looking at googlemaps.com and was checking out the Willouby Spit section of Norfolk, VA to see where the actual US 60 alignment is signed between the HRBT and 4th View Street.  For many years WB US 60 (and defunct VA 168 west of its current terminus) were signed along Ocean View Avenue just like in the Pre I -64 days while EB US 60 (and old 168) were routed along I-64 and there was only a US 60 shield on the 4th View Street guide sign to inform motorists that their ride along interstate 64 has ended.  Then along 4th View Street approaching Ocean View Avenue there were shield assemblies showing US 60 and VA 168 going East and West both ways along Ocean View Avenue even after VA 168 was truncated to its current terminus.

Anyway, I noticed now that a low curb divider is controlling traffic along Ocean View Avenue between Tidewater Drive and 4th View Street.  US 60 traffic WB after merging with VA 168 NB traffic is shown (via street view on google) that they must stay in the right lane and continue straight on Ocean View not at all to make a left onto 4th View Street to access I-64 and stay on its own alignment .  Furthermore, VA 168 traffic now (according to street view) cannot stay on Ocean View, but has to turn left onto 4th View Street and cannot stay on Ocean View.  The curbing has no breaks and it seems that there is no way to weave either way. 

I was wondering, if this is permanent?  I know that probably construction was going on at the time the Street Car went through that intersection.  I cannot believe that VA 168 motorists are being forced into an imediate left turn there as I am sure that there are many locals who need to access places along Ocean View Avenue in Willouby Spit and what about straight through US 60 motorists?  I am hoping that it has been corrected since.

Does anyone who know the area can shed some light on this issue.  I imagine that during rush hour there must be weaving problems here at this place with one lane of US 60 competing with two lanes of VA 168 with a lengthy left turn signal  at 4th View Street  causing long lines in the left turn lanes creating total chaos there.  It might make sense to keep US 60 local and access the Bridge Tunnel later, but the forced left being permanent would seem to  have locals at arms.  I am not knocking any of this, but wondering why as a former frequent traveler of this area.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 09:00:42 PM »

Yes, it's permanent.  It was reconfigured in 2004, as I noted on the Virginia Highways Project.  It's traffic mitigation brought about by the frequent backups at the HRBT, and as I recall (I was stationed in Norfolk at the time) it was requested by the residents along Willoughby Spit.

Mason Creek Rd can be used as the connection between the two.  A new traffic signal on Ocean View Ave (US 60) at Mason Creek was installed at the time for that purpose.

There's also an ALTERNATE US 60 West signed along Granby St (US 460) to Tidewater Dr (VA 168).
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 09:50:36 PM »

When the HRBT is backed up WB, a gate blocks the entrance to the Tunnel from 15th View Street.  So if you are on Ocean View west of Granby/Mason Creek, you are essentially on a dead end and have no choice but to come back out the way you came in (or go onto I-64 east). 

I believe through traffic should be encouraged to use highways as much as possible, and stay out of residential areas, thus, closing the 15th View ramp makes sense.  I'll have to check out what signs are there for westbound through US 60 traffic.  If its signed as "Alternate US 60" via Granby and Tidewater, that's really not good IMO...its not an alternate, its the one and only route you need to follow if you are driving US 60 from end to end.  Thus, they should have the routing of WB US 60 changed via AASHTO. 
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froggie

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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 07:46:01 AM »

Granby to Tidewater is a legit Alternate route.  Technically, you use Mason Creek Rd for "mainline" US 60.

Also remember that Norfolk is an independent city...VDOT has much less sway than the norm.
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roadman65

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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 07:35:22 PM »

You know I just checked this out, and it does seem okay to use Mason Creek.  On VA 168 there is a sign on the previous overpass shoeing all points along Ocean View In Willoughby Spit to use the right land for making a turn onto Mason Creek Road and then a folow up at the intersection.

From US 60 though there is no US 60 Shield on WB Ocean View at Mason Creek, but a "TO I-64" shield instead. 

Like Froggie said all US Routes in Large VA cities are municiply maintained!  There is no chance in AASHTO of re-aligning US 60.  Even so, look at Fredericksburg where US 1 Alternate has been decommisioned 40 years ago where the gantry on SB US 1 over the Rappanhock River still shows mainline US 1 as "ALT US 1."  There its legal, but Fredericksburg still signs its highways as they were decades ago.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 06:40:13 AM by 74/171FAN »
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 06:47:15 AM »

The W Ocean View Ave flyover is temporarily closed due to the deck receiving a poor rating.

Though it looks like Norfolk wants to eliminate the flyover all together moving forward and create an intersection here.  I guess this could possibly allow for US 60 WB traffic to go straight onto 4th View and I-64 from Ocean View again if done right.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 10:59:13 PM »

That probably would be right.  I doubt Norfolk, who maintains the interchange, will want to spend the money to replace the bridge, is going all out to remove it.  Remember, the bridge was built along with the HRBT as VA 168 was the main road coming in from Norfolk to the crossing.  All the traffic now on I-64 used VA 168 then, and the flyover was needed.  Now its obsolete and it would be a waste of money to repair and maintain further.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2016, 12:28:53 AM »

That probably would be right.  I doubt Norfolk, who maintains the interchange, will want to spend the money to replace the bridge, is going all out to remove it.  Remember, the bridge was built along with the HRBT as VA 168 was the main road coming in from Norfolk to the crossing.  All the traffic now on I-64 used VA 168 then, and the flyover was needed.  Now its obsolete and it would be a waste of money to repair and maintain further.
I disagree. The portion of Tidewater Dr that it passes over gets very congested during rush hour due to people trying to get past tunnel traffic on I-64 and frequently backs up well past the Mason Creek intersection. Removing the flyover and converting the intersection into an at-grade would exacerbate current issues and make the road an even bigger pain for residents and drivers.
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74/171FAN

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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 07:26:00 AM »

That probably would be right.  I doubt Norfolk, who maintains the interchange, will want to spend the money to replace the bridge, is going all out to remove it.  Remember, the bridge was built along with the HRBT as VA 168 was the main road coming in from Norfolk to the crossing.  All the traffic now on I-64 used VA 168 then, and the flyover was needed.  Now its obsolete and it would be a waste of money to repair and maintain further.
I disagree. The portion of Tidewater Dr that it passes over gets very congested during rush hour due to people trying to get past tunnel traffic on I-64 and frequently backs up well past the Mason Creek intersection. Removing the flyover and converting the intersection into an at-grade would exacerbate current issues and make the road an even bigger pain for residents and drivers.

See my point above though, right now traffic to I-64 WB and the HRBT via US 60 WB/4th View St must go via VA 168 NB/Tidewater Dr.  A reconfiguration here would hopefully allow for US 60 WB traffic here to stay on Ocean View Ave instead of currently migrating to VA 168 via US 460 or Mason Creek Rd, which I believe is the major reason for backups along VA 168.  In theory, US 60 EB traffic would just be staying to the left to stay on Ocean View and dealing with an at-grade at VA 168 instead of using a flyover.  The main issue I foresee scouting the area via Google Maps is that Norfolk may have to take the 711.
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Thing 342

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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 07:52:34 AM »

That probably would be right.  I doubt Norfolk, who maintains the interchange, will want to spend the money to replace the bridge, is going all out to remove it.  Remember, the bridge was built along with the HRBT as VA 168 was the main road coming in from Norfolk to the crossing.  All the traffic now on I-64 used VA 168 then, and the flyover was needed.  Now its obsolete and it would be a waste of money to repair and maintain further.
I disagree. The portion of Tidewater Dr that it passes over gets very congested during rush hour due to people trying to get past tunnel traffic on I-64 and frequently backs up well past the Mason Creek intersection. Removing the flyover and converting the intersection into an at-grade would exacerbate current issues and make the road an even bigger pain for residents and drivers.

See my point above though, right now traffic to I-64 WB and the HRBT via US 60 WB/4th View St must go via VA 168 NB/Tidewater Dr.  A reconfiguration here would hopefully allow for US 60 WB traffic here to stay on Ocean View Ave instead of currently migrating to VA 168 via US 460 or Mason Creek Rd, which I believe is the major reason for backups along VA 168.  In theory, US 60 EB traffic would just be staying to the left to stay on Ocean View and dealing with an at-grade at VA 168 instead of using a flyover.  The main issue I foresee scouting the area via Google Maps is that Norfolk may have to take the 711.
How often do you drive this intersection? The amount of traffic going from Ocean View / US-60 to I-64 is fairly small compared to the amount using Tidewater Drive to bypass the portion of 64 between I-564 and the tunnel. The backups on Tidewater occur because traffic is trying to merge onto an already-congested stretch of freeway, as well as having to take a left turn across Ocean View, as well as being forced down into a single lane. If the Mason Creek intersection were the cause (a channeled right turn for US-60 -> I-64 traffic), backups would end there, not be in the middle. The time saved by eliminating the turns for US-60 -> I-64 traffic will be tiny compared to the delays added by adding a left turn across Tidewater Dr. A better solution would be to keep the flyover and convert the Ocean View / Mason Creek intersection into roundabouts to reduce left turn wait times for US-60 traffic.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2016, 08:03:42 AM »

Having been stationed at NOB twice, I agree with Thing.  There really isn't a lot of traffic on Ocean View that is trying to get to 64...certainly not at the level of traffic that is already on Tidewater.  The primary cause of congestion on Tidewater is a lengthy HRBT backup...not the Ocean View traffic trying to merge in.

I also don't see converting Ocean View/Mason Creek into a roundabout as being viable because those same HRBT backups would overload it and prevent non-HRBT traffic from getting through of right-of-way impacts.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 09:01:07 AM by froggie »
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2016, 08:26:17 AM »

That probably would be right.  I doubt Norfolk, who maintains the interchange, will want to spend the money to replace the bridge, is going all out to remove it.  Remember, the bridge was built along with the HRBT as VA 168 was the main road coming in from Norfolk to the crossing.  All the traffic now on I-64 used VA 168 then, and the flyover was needed.  Now its obsolete and it would be a waste of money to repair and maintain further.
I disagree. The portion of Tidewater Dr that it passes over gets very congested during rush hour due to people trying to get past tunnel traffic on I-64 and frequently backs up well past the Mason Creek intersection. Removing the flyover and converting the intersection into an at-grade would exacerbate current issues and make the road an even bigger pain for residents and drivers.

See my point above though, right now traffic to I-64 WB and the HRBT via US 60 WB/4th View St must go via VA 168 NB/Tidewater Dr.  A reconfiguration here would hopefully allow for US 60 WB traffic here to stay on Ocean View Ave instead of currently migrating to VA 168 via US 460 or Mason Creek Rd, which I believe is the major reason for backups along VA 168.  In theory, US 60 EB traffic would just be staying to the left to stay on Ocean View and dealing with an at-grade at VA 168 instead of using a flyover.  The main issue I foresee scouting the area via Google Maps is that Norfolk may have to take the 711.
How often do you drive this intersection? The amount of traffic going from Ocean View / US-60 to I-64 is fairly small compared to the amount using Tidewater Drive to bypass the portion of 64 between I-564 and the tunnel. The backups on Tidewater occur because traffic is trying to merge onto an already-congested stretch of freeway, as well as having to take a left turn across Ocean View, as well as being forced down into a single lane. If the Mason Creek intersection were the cause (a channeled right turn for US-60 -> I-64 traffic), backups would end there, not be in the middle. The time saved by eliminating the turns for US-60 -> I-64 traffic will be tiny compared to the delays added by adding a left turn across Tidewater Dr. A better solution would be to keep the flyover and convert the Ocean View / Mason Creek intersection into roundabouts to reduce left turn wait times for US-60 traffic.

I agree with you and Froggie.  (I have barely ever driven the intersection for the record, but I was there on a summer Friday seeing the backups firsthand.)  I think we will have to see what Norfolk comes up with first.

I guess my major question here, would Norfolk consider redoing the Ocean View/4th View intersection (basically to allow two left-turn lanes onto 4th View) without HRBT expansion plans on the books?    I'm inclined to say no as it could cause more congestion at the I-64 WB on-ramp.  (Meaning that, for now, I would prefer the configuration be left alone.)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 08:33:18 AM by 74/171FAN »
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2016, 09:02:58 AM »

In my experience, there isn't much (often none) traffic on EB Ocean View waiting for the signal at 4th View.  As a result, the WB Ocean View to 4th View turn gets a lot of green arrow time.  I see no need for a dual left here.

Modified my earlier comment regarding a roundabout at Ocean View and Mason Creek.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2016, 01:57:40 PM »

The overpass could be removed permanently if you had a setup whereby you took the existing Tidewater Dr NB lane and had it run over what is the left lane of Ocean View EB between 4th and the overpass.  Then there would be room to have two-way traffic on the piece of Ocean View that cannot turn left on 4th.  The 4th NB lanes would have to be set up so that the right lane could only go to the Tidewater Dr lane of Ocean View and the left lane of 4th could turn into the new EB Ocean View only lane.  in this scenario (essentially Tidewater Dr and Ocean View are separate 2-way roads that run into 4th St very close to one another), the overpass is not needed but 60 WB would still need to use Mason Creek although the signal setup could be done so that all movements are actually possible at the 4th/Ocean View intersection (e.g. the US 60 WB movement onto 4th from Ocean View would happen when the 4th NB is allowed to turn right onto either Ocean View lane and the Tidewater to Ocean View past movement would happen when the protected left turn from Tidewater onto 4th is happening).

FWIW, the traffic data for 2015:

VA 168 between US 460 and US 60 - 8400
US 60 4th St btw 64 and Oceanview - 12000
US 60 btw 4th and US 460 - 14000 (no Tidewater Dr point on this segment)
Ocean View west of 4th to I-64 - 5800

Mason Creek Rd does not appear in the traffic data as its own segment nor as a boundary of another road's segment


Ramp from 4th to 64 WB - 6800
Ramp from 64 WB to 4th - 5500
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2016, 07:38:20 AM »

Of note:  I've found several city/neighborhood plans with a long-term vision of removing the segment of Tidewater entirely between Ocean View and Mason Creek.  In these scenarios, Tidewater traffic would be redirected up Mason Creek to meet Ocean View there, and Ocean View would be rebuilt into a "regular arterial street" (likely 4 lanes with amenities) between 4th View and Mason Creek.

In most of the plans, the land currently occupied by Tidewater and the flyover would be turned into parkland, though there has also been discussion of using the land (especially along Ocean View) for urban infill development.

At least one neighborhood plan (Willoughby Spit from 2006) proposes building a connector between Tidewater and 4th View, so that the "cheaters" (their term for those coming from Tidewater who drive through the neighborhood to access the HRBT and avoid congestion on 64) will avoid Ocean View entirely.  In this plan, the connector street would be an extension of Willoughby Bay Ave eastward to Mason Creek.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2016, 08:34:34 PM »

The overpass could be removed permanently if you had a setup whereby you took the existing Tidewater Dr NB lane and had it run over what is the left lane of Ocean View EB between 4th and the overpass.  Then there would be room to have two-way traffic on the piece of Ocean View that cannot turn left on 4th.  The 4th NB lanes would have to be set up so that the right lane could only go to the Tidewater Dr lane of Ocean View and the left lane of 4th could turn into the new EB Ocean View only lane.  in this scenario (essentially Tidewater Dr and Ocean View are separate 2-way roads that run into 4th St very close to one another), the overpass is not needed but 60 WB would still need to use Mason Creek although the signal setup could be done so that all movements are actually possible at the 4th/Ocean View intersection (e.g. the US 60 WB movement onto 4th from Ocean View would happen when the 4th NB is allowed to turn right onto either Ocean View lane and the Tidewater to Ocean View past movement would happen when the protected left turn from Tidewater onto 4th is happening).

FWIW, the traffic data for 2015:

VA 168 between US 460 and US 60 - 8400
US 60 4th St btw 64 and Oceanview - 12000
US 60 btw 4th and US 460 - 14000 (no Tidewater Dr point on this segment)
Ocean View west of 4th to I-64 - 5800

Mason Creek Rd does not appear in the traffic data as its own segment nor as a boundary of another road's segment


Ramp from 4th to 64 WB - 6800
Ramp from 64 WB to 4th - 5500
Your data shows reason to redo the interchange.  VA 168 is not main body anymore since I-64 stole its traffic in the mid 1970's.  The interchange was most likely built when the HRBT was constructed and was designed for the traffic heading to Norfolk and beyond.  US 60, of course, was just a route into the resort city of VA Beach, and therefore had no major traffic.

It only sat there this long because it was cost the city money to tear it down.  One bad thing about Virginia not letting cities be like they are in the other 49 states, is that they are stuck with maintenance of all their roads, minus the freeways of course.  So this gets no state aid, despite it being part of the state highway network.

I think that Mason Creek jog is nonsense, and you should be able to make a left turn onto 4th view from US 60 and VA 168 should be able to go straight on Ocean View.  Reconfiguring this whole intersection would be the best thing to do.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2016, 09:11:54 AM »

Quote
US 60, of course, was just a route into the resort city of VA Beach, and therefore had no major traffic.

Not true.  The Ocean View area of Norfolk was more heavily developed back in those days than it is today.  Between that and Ocean View Ave being the direct route from the HRBT to the Little Creek Amphibious Base, it did see major traffic.

Quote
So this gets no state aid, despite it being part of the state highway network.

Also not true.  The Independent Cities get state aid from VDOT for their primary route milage, based on how much of that mileage exists within the city.

Quote
I think that Mason Creek jog is nonsense, and you should be able to make a left turn onto 4th view from US 60 and VA 168 should be able to go straight on Ocean View.  Reconfiguring this whole intersection would be the best thing to do.

It makes sense when you look at why they did it.  Before, traffic using Tidewater to skirt I-64 congestion to get to the HRB was clogging the intersection and making it impossible for those who live on Willoughby Spit to get in or out, and it also affected emergency access along Ocean View.  With the reconfiguration to the current setup, that blockage is no longer the case.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2016, 12:14:34 PM »

Quote
US 60, of course, was just a route into the resort city of VA Beach, and therefore had no major traffic.

Not true.  The Ocean View area of Norfolk was more heavily developed back in those days than it is today.  Between that and Ocean View Ave being the direct route from the HRBT to the Little Creek Amphibious Base, it did see major traffic.




Not to mention a popular amusement park on US 60 between VA 168 and US 460 that was still there until the 1970s....
Additional traffic may have been bound for the CBBT or the Kiptopeke Ferry (depending on what year it is).

Of course it is just a snapshot, but the 1963 aerial clearly shows more traffic on US 60 than VA 168.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2016, 03:48:44 PM »

Additional traffic may have been bound for the CBBT or the Kiptopeke Ferry (depending on what year it is).

The ferry that ran between Virginia Beach (Little Creek, right?) and the Eastern Shore had to have been a "ramp meter" of its own (because the crossing was long and the capacity of each vessel was rather constrained), and likely did not contribute that much to traffic in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2016, 04:15:01 PM »

Additional traffic may have been bound for the CBBT or the Kiptopeke Ferry (depending on what year it is).

The ferry that ran between Virginia Beach (Little Creek, right?) and the Eastern Shore had to have been a "ramp meter" of its own (because the crossing was long and the capacity of each vessel was rather constrained), and likely did not contribute that much to traffic in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

I'll buy that argument...

Although this statement appears in Wikipedia in reference to the ferry:
Quote
Despite an expanded fleet of large and modern ships eventually capable of as many as 90 one-way trips each day, the lengthy crossing suffered delays due to heavy traffic and inclement weather.

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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2016, 08:24:53 PM »

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I think that Mason Creek jog is nonsense, and you should be able to make a left turn onto 4th view from US 60 and VA 168 should be able to go straight on Ocean View.  Reconfiguring this whole intersection would be the best thing to do.

It makes sense when you look at why they did it.  Before, traffic using Tidewater to skirt I-64 congestion to get to the HRBT was clogging the intersection and making it impossible for those who live on Willoughby Spit to get in or out, and it also affected emergency access along Ocean View.  With the reconfiguration to the current setup, that blockage is no longer the case.


I ultimately realized this point Friday when thinking more about this area after the posts I had made that morning.  Maybe I was just delusional for always being able to use US 460 (being from the Hopewell area) and ultimately avoiding the HRBT.  I ultimately clinched the HRBT and MMMBT on my own separate trips over the years.
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Re: US 60 and VA 168 Intersection in Norfolk
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2017, 03:47:30 AM »

Well I think some people are still missing the point of the intersection reconfiguration here.  (I could not decide on whether to post this here or in the Hampton Roads toll crossing thread.)

13NewsNow:  Motorists driving wrong way through W. Ocean View Ave., I-64 ramp

After seeing this, maybe this interchange should just be completely closed except for emergency vehicles because as you see cars are still getting around the I-64 WB On-Ramp closure.  (though there was no mention on how this area is patrolled by the State Police)

As a bonus, the Google maps inset shows VA 168 on Ocean View Ave as an error.
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