MLK Expressway

Portsmouth, VA
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Owner: VDOT
Construction Company: Fay Southeast
Project Status: Completed in 2017
Fay Southeast constructed a 4,000’ elevated viaduct extension of the MLK Expressway to provide a shorter, more direct route to the Downtown Tunnel from Portsmouth and improve the communication of traffic conditions via changeable message signs. This was challenging, as there was only limited access from the bridge approaches and no other access in mid-spans due to urban development. For this project, we constructed four approach ramps and a 3,850 lf bridge connecting the existing MLK Expressway to Interstate 264, modified local streets to accommodate traffic flow onto the new highway and bridge structure, and created several local park areas around the bridge to enhance the urban areas. The new bridge over High Street included architectural features enhancing the aesthetics for the local areas. Fay Southeast saved the client money through value engineering, modifying the design of two ramp bridges and eliminating a large amount of foundation piles. Additionally, we established a special minority training program which certified and created careers for approximately 20 workers.

This project was part of the overall Elizabeth River Crossings Tunnels project which received an Award of Merit as a finalist for the 2018 ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.
An overview of the finished bridge.
An aerial view of the construction of the bridge.
Workers placing concrete for a bridge pier.
An aerial view of the finished bridge.