Slow traffic ahead

Published 11:21 pm Friday, August 19, 2011

People who travel through Suffolk on Nansemond Parkway should prepare themselves for more than the usual delays in the months to come. To a long list of traffic headaches that includes school buses, school zones and left-turning vehicles, they can now add road construction.

Workers began recently to prepare an area near the intersection of Nansemond Parkway and Shoulders Hill Road for the start of a major road project that eventually will result in a wider Nansemond Parkway through much of the city and a dual left-turn lane on Shoulders Hill.

Both Suffolk and Chesapeake have had the improvements on their construction agendas for a long time. Growth in North Suffolk and in the Jolliff Road area of Chesapeake has caused bottlenecks along Nansemond Parkway and the Portsmouth Boulevard extension to its east. Even in the midst of the recession, construction continues in that part of both cities, and the continuing development has complicated the traffic situation there.


Email newsletter signup

When the project is complete, in addition to the Shoulders Hill turn-lane improvements, Nansemond Parkway will have been expanded to four lanes from the Commonwealth Railway crossing, past the Chesapeake-Suffolk border and all the way to I-664.

Given the fact that the entire two-phase project is expected to cost more than $27 million, it’s likely to take some time to complete. Still, though, the recent beginning of work on the Shoulders Hill portion of the project is a good sign for people who use the road frequently.

As with so many good things, though, this one will require patience. The first phase is expected to be complete in the spring of 2013, at which time the second phase will start. In the meantime, it could be slow going on Nansemond Parkway.