Council approves 58 paving

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, December 2, 2010

City Council members on Wednesday approved two measures related to Holland Road improvements, taking the first step toward getting state and federal money to pay for widening and repaving the highway.

One of the votes was to ask the Virginia Department of Transportation to classify widening the road as an urban highway project, which gives it priority in getting federal and state help to pay for the project.

The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization recently ranked the road as its second priority among all Hampton Roads urban transportation projects, Public Works Director Eric Nielsen said.

Email newsletter signup

“We should be there to get ready to ask for that money” when it becomes available, Nielsen said.

The road needs to be widened, because it is becoming increasingly congested during peak times and because coming projects will add to the backup even more unless a solution is found. Among those projects is the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, a development of more than 900 acres that will feature distribution by truck and by rail.

The second measure approved by the council affects the road further west. The city received about $276,000 in federal stimulus funds from the Federal Highway Administration to pave U.S. Route 58 from the Holland Bypass to Lummis Road; Carolina Road from the Norfolk Southern rail crossing to the intersection of Whaleyville Boulevard; and Whaleyville Boulevard from John Mullen Road to Boonetown Road.

Nielsen said the roads were chosen based on stringent requirements from the federal government on how the money could be spent. Even signs and guardrails along roads to be repaved had to meet certain conditions, making the choice about more than just the condition of the pavement.

“This is a good start here,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said of the projects.