Freeman Avenue Railroad Overpass

In Design

This project will provide grade separation of Freeman Avenue at the Norfolk-Portsmouth Beltline Railroad crossing Project includes realignment and re-connection of several local streets near the crossing. 50% of funding is provided by the Federal Rail Administration, and the remaining 50% is local funding.

Project Design Start: August 2020

Projected Design Completion: December 2024

Project Budget: $20.3 million

Purpose of Project

Freeman Avenue serves as an integral part of the roadway transportation network in the South Norfolk area of Chesapeake, Virginia. Freeman Avenue serves as the only connecting road between the peninsula of the Money Point /Western South Norfolk area to the greater Hampton Roads region, including I-464 and the surrounding Hampton Roads interstate system.

Currently, there is an at-grade railroad crossing of the NPBL and Freeman Avenue in the City of Chesapeake. The existing railroad crossing is controlled by flashing lights and automatic gates for both the eastbound and westbound directions.

The purpose and need of the proposed project is to replace the existing at-grade railroad crossing at Freeman Avenue with an overpass to improve overall reliability and safety of the transportation system and create a continuous, unimpaired flow of traffic along Freeman Avenue to:

  • Reduce vehicular delays to and from the Money Point industrial area while the railroad is in use
  • Eliminate conflicts between roadway and rail traffic
  • Enhance emergency response (Freeman Avenue is the only roadway access to the Money Point industrial area)

The proposed improvements will also promote economic growth by increasing the capacity of the rail yard and railroad track in the area of Freeman Avenue.

Project Description

The proposed project involves a new roadway overpass along Freeman Avenue that would remove the existing at-grade railroad crossing of the NPBL railroad line and includes new connecting roads for access to properties.

The conceptual Build Alternatives include the following:

  • The proposed roadway on Freeman Avenue is two lanes.
  • Freeman Avenue will utilize a design speed of 35 mph.
  • The bridge and roadway do not include dedicated pedestrian and bicycle facilities; however 8-foot shoulders are proposed as accommodations.

In cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the City of Chesapeake is preparing an environmental document in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations, for the proposed Project.

The environmental document will analyze the environmental effects of a No-Build Alternative and a Build Alternative(s) along the Freeman Avenue corridor at the NPBL railroad crossing.

Project Diagram

The Freeman Avenue Bridge is located to the south of the existing road. Compared to the other alternatives, it has medium right-of-way impacts since permanent right-of-way will be required for Freeman Avenue. Traffic can use the existing road during construction.

Utilities located within the existing roadway will not be impacted. However, the overhead communications and power lines located to the south of the existing roadway will be impacted. View a high-resolution version (JPG).

Freeman Avenue Improvements (JPG) Opens in new window

Project Budget

The overall Project Budget is $20,340,000, including design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction costs. Preliminary cost data has been developed for the proposed alternatives within the available project budget.

Right-of-Way

The proposed project will require some property acquisition for right-of-way and easement purposes. There are a number of existing commercial and residential structures as well as the existing Money Point First Baptist Church, on the north side of Freeman Avenue located close to the existing road.

Prior to the right-of-way acquisition process and construction, all required right-of-way and easements will be presented on the plans.