Better Transfer Centers Coming to Three Cities

Spring brings the start of something better for customers of the Liberty Street transfer stop in South Norfolk where construction of a new bus pull-off began this month, while this Fall work may begin on significant upgrades to the Hampton and Newport News transfer stations.

These projects are part of HRT’s on-going efforts to address backlogs in transfer center maintenance with the goal of improving transit operations and customer satisfaction.

The new Liberty Street project will replace the existing stop at 22nd Street and Seaboard Road where local Routes 6, 12, 13 and 58 make stops. Passenger amenities there are slight, and the new location will provide better operational conditions, sidewalks where none exist today, and shelters when the weather is unpleasant. Dedicated lighting is under review.

Chesapeake is preparing to demolish the nearby 22nd Street Bridge, the region’s most structurally unsound crossing.  The bridge, which crosses Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, will be realigned to Poindexter Street at a cost of about $18.3 million.

Seaboard Road will be closed from 20th Street to Liberty for the demolition of the old bridge. The new bridge will be renamed.

“The project is a partnership between HRT and Chesapeake,” said Don Lint, director of construction. “They did the engineering / design work and developed the site plan, and HRT is responsible for construction administration.”

The pull off will be made of concrete, nine inches thick, and have an unusual Onyx finish to help hide the tell-tail oil stains caused by our buses.  The work is being performed by Conquest USA and is expected to be completed by the end of August.

That’s about the time that final plans for upgrades to the Hampton and Newport News transit centers will be ready.

That’s about the time that final plans for upgrades to the Hampton (HTC) and Newport News (NNTC) transit centers will be ready.

“We’re expanding the park and ride capacity at both facilities and adding amenities for passengers to include bike racks, repair stations, improved lighting, landscaping, security/communications infrastructure, and things like that,” said Lee Roy Padgett, director of engineering.

Included in the work at Newport News and Hampton is significant pavement rehabilitation to replace sections of the bus loops that have failed. The bus loop at Hampton already has had a major temporary asphalt repair, and Newport News has had a driveway apron replaced.

“The general goal is to prepare HTC and NNTC for the next 20 years of productive use,” he said.

HRT also is providing additional TRAFFIX facilities for its vans and increasing available dedicated parking for them.  This presents a particularly attractive new opportunity at NNTC and the Newport News Shipyard, where conventional surface lot parking is already at a premium.

“Right now, we are in design phase,” he said.  “We don’t expect initial construction until fall of 2018. Operationally, we cannot realistically reconstruct both facilities (Hampton and Newport News) at the same time; they will have to be done in sequence. “

These two projects are being funded under Virginia’s Smart Scale program. Under Smart Scale, transportation project funding is provided on an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent to the public and allows decision-makers to be held accountable to taxpayers.