Kings Highway Bridge Design project receives $3.04M funding

Published 2:19 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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SUFFOLK, Va — Senator Mark Warner came to town Tuesday bearing a $3.04M check to help fund the initial phase of the Kings Highway Bridge Design project. The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2024 Congressionally Directed Spending Federal Funding. Originally built in 1926, the previous Kings Highway Bridge was deemed structurally unsound and demolished in 2007.

This funding will cover approximately 30% of the design costs associated with replacing the Kings Highway Bridge. According to the city, this includes progressing through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) phase, developing the bridge Type/Size/Location (TSL) Report, and completing necessary geotechnical work.

The new bridge will span the Nansemond River, reconnecting Kings Highway (Route 125) to Godwin Boulevard (Route 10). It will feature a 10-foot multi-use path and a five-foot sidewalk. Once completed, the bridge is expected to alleviate current traffic congestion along the Route 17 and Route 58 Corridors. Additionally, it will serve as a crucial water crossing in the Hampton Roads region, offering an alternative transportation route for Suffolk’s western residents.

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The cost to complete the bridge in 2021 was estimated at $186.3 million, but given the recent rise in material and labor costs, it will likely eclipse that amount.

During his remarks, Mayor Mike Duman said the city has been searching “diligently” for funding opportunities and praised Sen. Warner and his colleagues for their work on securing the funding.


“This funding is a testament to the support and vision of Sen. Warner and his colleagues, [who] championed our city’s infrastructure needs,” Duman said. “It paves the way for further studies and lays the groundwork for future state and federal funding to ensure the projects success.”

Duman also said the proposed Five Mile Road connection is a strategic choice that aligns with the city’s long-term transportation goals and hopes to alleviate traffic congestion and foster economic growth.

Warner said the funding resulted from a bipartisan effort between him, US Senator Tim Kaine and US Representative Jen Kiggans.

“I do want to acknowledge, this was something that was done in a bipartisan way with Tim Kaine and Jen Kiggans. We worked together on this.”

In October 2021, the Suffolk City Council unanimously proposed that the Virginia Department of Transportation build a new King’s Highway Bridge. The city studied several options, including building the new bridge at the same location or Five Mile Road. Ultimately, they decided to support constructing the new bridge at Five Mile Road, less than a mile south of the previous location.

During a presentation at the council’s Oct. 6, 2021 meeting, Public Works Director Robert Lewis made the case for the Five Mile Road span instead of proposing a new span over the same area as the old bridge.

At that time, the recommendation came even though 48% of residents favored building at the old bridge site versus 30% who supported building the bridge along Five Mile Road. Another 22% did not want a bridge at any location, though 70% of those who responded said replacing the Kings Highway Bridge with a new one should be a priority, and 65% favored a 35-foot high bridge versus a 65-foot bridge. The city solicited feedback from residents in October and November 2020 on both sides of the river during public engagement sessions and through an online survey.

However, the city recommended the second option for several reasons—it follows its 2035 comprehensive plan and the council’s decision in 2000 to choose the same alignment as staff is now recommending.