Nansemond Road widening heard by public

Published 10:25 am Thursday, October 23, 2008

Proposed improvements to ease bottlenecking near the intersection of Nansemond Parkway and Shoulders Hill Road won’t be under construction until the spring 2010.

But about two dozen people from surrounding communities gathered at Nansemond River High School Tuesday to learn more about the $15.7 million project.

The project’s focal point is the intersection into Northgate Commerce Park, encompassing the stretch of Nansemond Parkway running from the Commonwealth Railroad tracks to Helen Street.


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The project design is just about complete, said Sandon S. Rogers, a civil engineer with the city. The city is working now to get right-of-way acquisitions and easements from 36 property owners, a process that will be finished by the end of next summer.

Property owners are being contacted individually by the city, he said.

Utility companies, including Dominion Virginia Power and Verizon, will begin the 12-month process of relocating their lines in spring 2009. Construction on the project is expected to be finished during the summer of 2011.

Highlights include:

4Additional lanes for east- and west-bound vehicles on Nansemond Parkway.

4Additional left and right turn lanes on Nansemond Parkway and Shoulders Hill, into Northgate Commerce Park and Suffolk Meadows East subdivision respectively.

4The addition of medians and improved traffic signal timing.

4Curbing and guttering, including a closed stormwater system that alleviates the need for open ditches, and several stormwater retention ponds.

4Construction of multi-use trails and sidewalks along the roadways.

With the surge in rail traffic anticipated from the development of the ports in Portsmouth, as well as planned residential and industrial growth in North Suffolk, the road improvements won’t come soon enough for some residents.

“I have people up my rear (when I try to turn into the subdivision),” said Laura Sootoo, a Suffolk Meadows East resident, who said many of drivers appear to be traveling past her at 60 miles per hours. “I can’t tell you how many times I have almost been plowed into by people tailgating.”

Robert Turner, president of the Suffolk Meadows civic league, questioned whether the right hand turn lane into Count Crescent is an effective use of money. It would serve just 43 homes in the subdivision, but would require at least four homeowners losing “half of their backyards” through right-of-way and easement acquisition.

City officials said they are looking ahead at projected growth for that part of the city and that it would be more economical, in the long run, to put the turn lane in place while the construction in under way.