Light Rail Projected Capital Costs Released

Date: October 3, 2016
Contact: Tom Holden, 757-222-6000 ext. 6183

Norfolk, VA – The projected capital costs for extending light rail from Newtown Road to Virginia Beach Town Center is expected to be $243.1 million, according to Hampton Roads Transit, the City of Virginia Beach and the engineering firms hired to develop the project.

The extension would add 3.5 miles of track to The Tide with three new stations at Witchduck Road, Kellam Road and Constitution Drive where a new park and ride would be built. A new eastbound platform would be constructed at Newtown Road.

The projected costs also include three new light rail vehicles, allowing HRT to maintain the level of service it currently provides, a bus transfer facility at Constitution Drive where local buses will support rail service, three bridges, nine at-grade crossings, six signalized intersections, and major utility relocations.

Project planners envision bridges over Witchduck Road, Independence Boulevard and Market Street that will allow regular vehicular traffic to pass through without interruption. The rail track would be elevated from Independence east to Market and then return to grade and end at Constitution.

“This study represents the collaborative work of many talented engineers and planners,” said William E. Harrell, president and CEO of HRT. “I am thrilled to present the preliminary engineering to the public and confident the information represents a comprehensive assessment of what it will take to extend The Tide into Town Center.”

The figures are the result of 15 months of work by the cities, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and Light Rail Partners, a partnership of RK&K and STV, companies with extensive experience in developing transportation projects.

In addition to collaboration with local and state governments, the process also included close cooperation the City of Norfolk, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Dominion Virginia Power, Virginia Natural Gas, Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Cox Communications and Verizon Communications, among others.

The project envisions major utility relocations for transmission and distribution towers for Dominion Power, a 42’’ water main in Virginia Beach. The work also involved coordination with the Housing Resource Center, the I-64/I-264 interstate ramp project, the Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities and planners for Witchduck Road Phase II.

The preliminary engineering includes design drawings to a 30 percent level, projected costs of major utility relocations, the legal rights of way to build the project, and the professional engineering services necessary to manage and construct the project.

With completion of the preliminary engineering, HRT will provide bridging documents to Virginia Beach in preparation for final design and construction. Also coming are Operation and Maintenance estimates, a request for proposals from Virginia Beach to begin the design build process. HRT will act as a partner and technical advisor to the project.

The City of Virginia Beach is considering other project enhancements such as a shared use path along the proposed light rail alignment. The cost of such projects are not included in HRT’s light rail cost estimate.

Category Estimated Cost (millions)
Design-Builder Light Rail Estimate $157.6
Major Utility Relocations $12.0
Right-of-Way $24.8
Rail & Support Vehicles $21.0
Professional Services $27.7
Estimated Total Project Costs $243.1


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