Widening work ramps up
Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Dominion Virginia Power will begin clearing trees along Nansemond Parkway on March 14 as the city ramps up plans to begin work on an estimated $11-million expansion this fall.
Plans call for Suffolk to turn Nansemond Parkway — now mostly a two-lane highway slicing through North Suffolk to Chesapeake’s Jolliff Road area — into four lanes through Chesapeake’s city line, according to city spokeswoman Diana Klink. Officials estimate the project will take 18 to 24 months, she said.
The expansion is being done simultaneously with Chesapeake’s Portsmouth Boulevard expansion so cost and timeframe may be refined through the process, Klink stated.
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The project is Suffolk’s second phase of expansion of Nansemond Parkway, Klink stated. The first one, which included two additional lanes and intersection improvements at Northgate Commerce Park, cost $18.8 million, Klink stated.
Dominion’s tree-clearing operations will run along Nansemond Parkway, from Helen Street to Chesapeake’s city line, according to a press release. Work will take place within Dominion Power’s 30-foot easements on both sides of the road, any places that trees and limbs extend within the acquired utility easements or Suffolk’s rights of way, according to a release from Klink’s office.
Dominion has estimated the project will take up to six weeks, Klink said. Motorists can expect periodic southbound lane closures during that time, she said.
Nansemond Parkway businesses say they will have to make changes — moving entrances and shifting parking areas — because of the loss of frontage from the expansion.
“It’s going to be a big deal for us,” said manager Shirley Greene of America’s Best Storage. She expects her business will lose three or four parking spaces and may have to relocate the front door.
The biggest impact will be on the large trucks that come to their storage bins several days a week, she said. It will be difficult for tractor-trailers to navigate around medians and make U-turns to get into the parking lot, she said.
Barry Moore, owner of Nansemond Auto Body, said he is losing most of his frontage to the project. Nonetheless, he said he supports the project.
“It’s busy along here,” he said. “With (routes) 17, 58 and Nansemond Parkway as the only corridors crossing this end of the city, I feel like we need the four lanes.”