~ The City of Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia break ground on long awaited multi-modal transportation center ~
On July 21, 2020, the City of Newport News, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) broke ground on a new transportation center that will bring the city’s public transportation and passenger rail infrastructure into the 21st century. As construction begins this summer, the $47 million project is expected to run approximately two years with an anticipated completion date of summer 2022. The Commonwealth of Virginia is funding 44 percent of the project which will cover the Amtrak service facility. The remaining 56 percent will be funded by local and regional funds to cover station building, parking and utility work.
The new transportation center will be located at Bland Boulevard between Warwick Boulevard and Interstate 64 and serve as a hub for Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) buses, taxis and shuttles that service the airport, and replace the Amtrak train station currently on Warwick Boulevard. The design and location offer many benefits to the City of Newport News including ADA compliance, modern amenities, increased parking, and streamlined passenger rail. It also conforms with the city’s comprehensive plan and multiple Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization plans.
“This transformational project will provide the residents of Newport News and the surrounding area enhanced transportation options with much improved passenger rail and public transit services,” said McKinley L. Price, Mayor, City of Newport News. “I am excited that construction is underway and join with our partners in looking forward to its completion in 2022.”
“DRPT is proud to have collaborated with the City of Newport News, VDOT, Amtrak, and CSX to expand multimodal transportation options to citizens of Virginia,” stated Jennifer Mitchell, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. “We look forward to the economic impact this station as well as the future of rail and public transportation will have on the City, the Hampton Roads region, and the Commonwealth.”
“This transportation center will not only serve as a gateway into Newport News and the Hampton Roads region, but also provide people – whether it be residents, visitors, military personnel – with flexible and connected options for getting to where they need to be,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich.
The groundbreaking event was one of the first in-person events the City of Newport News has embarked on since the COVID-19 outbreak. Physical distancing and other safety precautions were taken during the event to help keep attendees safe.
Submitted by Kim Lee, City of Newport News
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