Norfolk LRT extension options mapped

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Efforts to extend light rail transit from Norfolk, Va., east to neighboring Virginia Beach have received substantial political and media attention in recent years. But Norfolk and Hampton Roads Transit are pursuing extension of The Tide LRT from its current western terminus north to Naval Station Norfolk.

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) has released conceptual maps showing six alignments the city might extend light rail to Norfolk Naval Station. HRT also said Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 that it will hold three public workshops next week to solicit feedback on the alignment options.

The alignment options reportedly have not yet been screened for potential fatal flaws.

HRT hopes to have more finite recommendations by this summer, Julie Timm, HRT’s transit development officer, told local media.

Though less visible than the comparable effort to extend LRT to Virginia Beach, HRT’s interest in reaching the naval station has been ongoing. Last September HRT also scheduled three meetings to seek public input on extending The Tide light rail transit to serve the naval station. The Tide’s current western terminus is at Fort Norfolk/Medical Center Station, roughly 7.6 miles short of the naval base.

Revenue service on The Tide’s 7.4-mile line began on Aug. 19, 2011. The Tide employs Siemens S70 light rail transit equipment.