Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) has issued a notice to proceed to HDR Engineering Inc. to begin a study of possible high-capacity transit alignments between The Tide light-rail service and a naval station in Norfolk, Va.
The notice begins a process that will enable HRT and the city of Norfolk to develop conceptual ideas about the path a high-capacity link to Norfolk Naval Station would follow, the communities it would serve and the mode — rail or expanded bus — that would be the best fit, HRT officials said in a press release.
Developing a high-capacity transit line to the naval base has long been of interest to regional leaders and the thousands of commuters who travel on Interstates 64 and 564 on their way to the base, they said. Traffic volume at the base, which currently is served by local and express bus routes, is among the highest of any major location in the region.
Expected to take about 15 months to complete, the study is being funded by the commonwealth and federal sources. HRT plans to solicit public input on the study this summer.
The study is unrelated to the ongoing Virginia Beach Transit Extension study, for which a formal draft environmental statement is expected early next year, HRT officials said.
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