Virginia Beach or Naval Station Norfolk? What’s next for light rail

Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 23, 2014

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - Hampton Roads Transit is currently in the middle of two studies that could extend light rail into Virginia Beach as well as to Naval Station Norfolk.

The Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study "goes from where Newtown Road is where the Tide ends potentially all the way to the Oceanfront, or as short as Town Center," explained HRT Transit Development Officer Julie Timm.

The Naval Station Norfolk Extension Study is "looking at possible corridors that could go from the Tide where it is now anywhere along its alignment north towards Naval Station Norfolk."

While HRT is currently studying both options, the extensions wouldn't happen simultaneously.

"Virginia Beach is much more advanced than where the Norfolk study is," Timm told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

It's up to HRT to study the transit extensions and present options to city leaders in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

"Virginia Beach, depending on what they choose, you’re looking at something in the 2019-2020 time frame when you might be able to start riding something. Norfolk you’re looking at a 10-year project timeline, so you are looking at 2025," Timm said.

This month, HRT is hosting a series of public meetings on the Naval Station Norfolk Extension Study.

During those meetings, they're reviewing six possible corridors, including two that run near the Norfolk International Airport and another that could serve Old Dominion University.

"That shows what looks like very specific alignments on very specific roads, but what they really represent are corridors that the city can use to say 'We want to go up this corridor on the eastern side of the city' or 'maybe we want to go up this corridor on the western part of the city,'" Timm stated.

Once Norfolk selects a preferred corridor, which could happen next year, HRT will then begin a detailed study of the route.

"We’ll go into detailed study that says okay in this corridor – what’s the specific alignment that’s best to go down?"

You can view the six proposed corridors for the Naval Station Norfolk extension here.

You can also learn more about the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study here and the Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study here.

Schedule of remaining Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study Meetings:

  • Thursday, October 23 at the Pretlow Library (111 W. Ocean View Avenue, Norfolk)
  • Monday, October 27 at the Kroc Center (1401 Ballentine Blvd., Norfolk)
  • Thursday, October 30 at Tidewater Community College, Norfolk Campus, Student Center - 5th Floor (300 Granby Street)

All the meetings are from 6-7:30 P.M.