The Downtown Expressway opened to traffic from Interstate 195 (near Byrd Park) eastward to 7th Street on Feb. 3, 1976.
The northbound connections to the former Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike (I-95) opened in August 1976, and the southbound connections were completed on Sept. 1, 1977.
In 1992, additional lanes were added to the 7th Street and 12th Street westbound on-ramps. At that time, the 11th Street on-ramp and Canal Street off-ramp were widened to two lanes each.
The stretch from Meadow Street to the junction with I-95 is 2.5 miles long. It contains a
combination barrier toll plaza with 15 lanes including three, westbound Open
Road Toll lanes.
The Second Street ramps have two unmanned tolls. Beginning in March 1994, a toll collection attendant was stationed at the 11th Street and Canal Street ramps during peak traffic times.
An average of approximately 54,000 vehicles utilize the Downtown Expressway each day.