Road project under Army Corps review

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A project to make improvements to Nansemond Parkway on a stretch near Nansemond River High School is currently under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The review is to determine environmental impacts from the city’s preferred option for the estimated $11.1 million project. Construction, according to Acting Public Works Director L.J. Hansen, is not expected until fiscal year 2022.

The scope of the work would extend east from the high school to about 900 feet east of the intersection of Nansemond Parkway and Sportsman Boulevard. The Nansemond River High School entrance and the intersections with Sleepy Hole Road, Bennetts Pasture Road and Sportsman Boulevard are included in the project scope, as well a section of Bennetts Pasture Road near the Nansemond Pre-Cast Concrete facility.

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It also includes about 14 acres of developed and undeveloped properties and parts of the high school property, including existing parking lots and field areas. The project would result in 3.15 acres of permanent impacts to non-tidal wetlands.

Hansen told City Council earlier this year that completely avoiding aquatic resource impacts for the project is not possible because other options would not meet project objectives. He said the city considered about 10 different options.

The preferred plan calls for rerouting Bennetts Pasture Road to realign with Sportsman Boulevard. It also eliminates the current signal at the high school and moves it to Sleepy Hole Road, providing access to the neighborhoods along that road, access to the school and for future developments for a regional athletic facility.

The work is necessary, Hansen said, because of the high traffic volumes at peak times, and with five intersections in the space of under a mile, there are “a number of accidents in that stretch.”

In 2018, there were 12 accidents that resulted in eight injuries in that stretch of Nansemond Parkway, according to Department of Motor Vehicles crash data. So far in 2019, there have been eight accidents with eight injuries in the same area.

The comment period on the project closes Aug. 7, and comments can be sent by email to or by regular mail to Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (Attention: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510-1011.

The Army Corps of Engineers notice says that a preliminary review of the city’s permit application indicates that no environmental impact statement will be necessary for the project.

Besides receiving the Army Corps of Engineering permit, the city must also get a Virginia Water Protection Permit from the state Department of Environmental Quality.