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Chesapeake Transportation Priorities
On April 9, 2013, the Chesapeake City Council approved a resolution requesting that the Virginia Department of Transportation plan and fund several projects within the City of Chesapeake in its six-year improvement plan. Following is a list of those projects.
Approved by Chesapeake City Council on April 9, 2013
Contact your elected officials regarding these transportation projects.
A. NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM (NHS) INTERSTATE FUNDING
- I-64 from I-464 to Bowers Hill – Improvement of the I-64 corridor from I-464 to I-664/264, including replacement of the High Rise Bridge. Traffic on this interstate is already highly congested during peak hours and traffic volumes continue to grow. I-64 bridge openings exacerbate this congestion. The project should include improvements to the I-64/I-464/Chesapeake Expressway interchange to eliminate dangerous weaving movements and backups at the entrance and exit ramps.
- I-664 Widening to 6 Lanes – Traffic and congestion of this roadway continue to substantially increase each year. With the limited number of water crossings between the Southside and the Peninsula, these improvements are necessary to provide for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods throughout the region.
B. U.S. ARMY CORPS CIVIL WORKS FUNDING
- Deep Creek Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIW) Bridge – The AIW Deep Creek Bridge is currently owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The two-lane bridge crosses the Dismal Swamp Canal which is part of the AIW. The bridge was constructed in 1934 and is functionally obsolete. The replacement of the Deep Creek AIW Bridge with a 5-lane bridge will reduce commute times for area commuters and enhance emergency response times.
C. URBAN FUNDING – STATEWIDE STP OR STATE FUNDING
- Portsmouth Boulevard – This project will widen the existing two-lane road to four lanes from Jolliff Road to the Suffolk City line. Portsmouth Boulevard serves as the main arterial roadway connecting the Cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk and Portsmouth. Since the construction of I-664, this area has been one of the fastest growing areas in the region. Additional capacity is necessary to accommodate the growing traffic demand along this corridor. This project is being coordinated with similar improvements within the City of Suffolk.
- Kempsville/Battlefield/Great Bridge Blvd Intersection Improvements – This project would widen Great Bridge Blvd from Battlefield Blvd to the Chesapeake Expressway off-ramp and add additional turn lanes to the existing intersection to improve through traffic. Additional intersection capacity is necessary to accommodate the growing traffic demand along these corridors.
- Mt. Pleasant Road, Phase 1 – This project will widen the existing two-lane road to four lanes from the Chesapeake Expressway to Etheridge Road. Traffic volumes on the road create significant congestion during peak hours. Lack of turn lanes and shoulders create significant backups due to left-turning vehicles, school buses and refuse collection.
Other candidate projects include (not prioritized):
- Hanbury Road – This project will widen the existing tow-lane road to four lanes from Johnstown Road to Battlefield Boulevard. Hanbury Road serves as an east-west connector between Johnstown Road and Battlefield Boulevard. It also serves as the sole access to Fire Station Number 5, Great Bridge High School and Great Bridge Intermediate School. Congestion on this roadway has reached the point where additional capacity is necessary.
- Mt. Pleasant Road, Phase 2 – This project will widen the existing two-lane road to four lanes from Etheridge Road to Centerville Turnpike. Traffic volumes have grown to the point that additional capacity is necessary.
- Mt. Pleasant Road/Great Bridge Bypass Interchange Improvements – Congestion has increased to the point where the movement onto and off of the Great Bridge Bypass is blocking the through lanes on both the Bypass and Mt. Pleasant Road. Improvements are necessary to enhance both safety and capacity in the area.
- Centerville Turnpike – This project would widen Centerville Turnpike from Mt. Pleasant Road to the Virginia Beach corporate limits and replace the Centerville Turnpike Bridge. The existing corridor experiences heavy congestion during the morning and afternoon peak periods. This congestion is exacerbated by frequent openings of the drawbridge.
- Freeman Avenue Railroad Overpass - This project will replace the existing at-grade railroad crossing of the Norfolk-Portsmouth Beltline with an overpass. Freeman Avenue serves as the only roadway access to the Money Point area. Blockages of the existing at-grade railroad crossing create significant logistical challenges when responding to emergencies on the west side of the tracks. A grade-separated crossing will provide unimpeded access to and from this industrial area and eliminate conflicts between roadway and rail traffic.
- Portlock Road Railroad Overpass - This project will replace the existing at-grade crossing of the Norfolk-Southern rail line with an overpass. This section of the Norfolk-Southern rail line carries significant rail traffic, including passenger rail service between Norfolk, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The amount of train activity results in frequent blockages of Portlock Road, thus delaying local residents and hindering emergency response efforts. A grade-separated crossing will provide unimpeded access along Portlock Road and eliminate conflicts between roadway and rail traffic.
- S. Military Highway Corridor Improvements – The S. Military Highway Corridor Study proposes that Military Highway be reconfigured into a roadway that balances local needs with regional needs. Improvements include the widening of Military Highway to six lanes, installation of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations and the redirection of truck traffic once the Gilmerton Bridge is replaced.
- Triple Decker Bridge Replacement – This interchange of U.S. Route 13, U.S. Route 460 and the Norfolk-Southern rail line was constructed in 1948 and is reaching the end of its service life. Rehabilitations are slowing deterioration but traffic growth in the corridor will require a complete replacement in the future.
D. UNDESIGNATED FUNDING
- Great Dismal Swamp Trail Southern Extension – The construction of a new U.S. Route 17 parallel and to the east of the existing Route 17 alignment presented a unique opportunity for the conversion of the existing roadway to a recreational trail facility. The initial phase of the project has been completed and construction of subsequent phases is underway. This project will provide a southern extension of the trail system to connect to the trail system in Camden County, North Carolina.
- Ballahack Road Defense Access Road Improvements – Ballahack Road serves as the sole access to the Naval Support Activity Northwest Annex facility. Construction of a 400-cell prison is now completed and is staffed with approximately 200 military personnel. The existing roadway is narrow, has little to no shoulder in some locations and has a high accident rate. The proposed project includes ditch and shoulder improvements as well as curve realignments.
- Chesapeake Airport Access Road – This roadway would link the Chesapeake Airport on West Road directly to the new Route 17 alignment, significantly improving access to the airport.
E. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
- Study of Light Rail Extension to Greenbrier Area – With Light Rail service currently operating in the City of Norfolk and studies underway to extend Light Rail to Virginia Beach and the Norfolk Naval Station, a study of an extension to the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake is a logical next step in the development of the Light Rail system.
- Passenger Rail Service – The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation recently completed a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for passenger rail service between Hampton Roads and Richmond. A Record of Decision was provided by the Federal Rail Administration in December 2012 which identified Alternative 1 as the preferred alternative. Alternative 1 includes establishment of a new higher speed rail service along the Southside Norfolk-Southern corridor which runs through the City of Chesapeake. This alternative would serve a station in the Bowers Hill area.