City receives $10M to widen Route 58

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Traffic backs up on Holland Road near the western end of the U.S. Route 58 bypass in this file photo from January 2011. The city on Wednesday found out it would receive $10 million to widen the road.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board on Wednesday approved $10 million to help fund the widening of U.S. Route 58 in Suffolk.

The announcement was part of an $11.4 billion package of transportation improvement projects expected to span the next six years. The announcement of the money sparked a round of applause in City Council chambers when it was trumpeted during Wednesday’s meeting.

“This will allow us to move forward into the right-of-way acquisition phase next year,” said Eric Nielsen, director of Public Works, during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

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The design of the project is being paid for by CenterPoint Properties as part of its project to build a massive intermodal center on Holland Road just west of Kenyon Road. Two large warehouses currently are under construction there for Ace Hardware and the Navy Exchange Command.

“I’m very pleased with the good news,” said Councilman Jeffrey Gardy, who represents the area. “We’re getting there. We’re getting a big bite every chance we get. Fortunately, most of the people who live in Holy Neck are very patient.”

Completing the acquisition of right-of-way was one of the top priorities used to determine the allocation of funds, according to a news release posted on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s website.

“The six-year program advances projects that will relieve congestion in the most heavily traveled areas of the state and improve numerous roads and bridges throughout Virginia,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in the press release. “The program also supports a better multi-modal system, moving more people with fewer cars.”

Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton also weighed in.

“As a result of the governor’s commitment to transportation, the CTB is moving ahead with critical projects that not only improve transportation but also are good for the economy and stimulate jobs.”

The $10 million allocation was the top amount given, Mayor Linda T. Johnson said Wednesday. In Hampton Roads, only Virginia Beach also received the full amount.

She thanked city employees who had worked to obtain the money, as well as Suffolk resident Dennis Heuer, who she said works for VDOT.

The project still is far from fully funded, but City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn promised there is “more to come.”

“We may not get it all at once, but we do work very hard,” she said.