The project converted nearly four miles of a two-lane rural roadway into a four-lane divided freeway from Interstate 64 to Grassfield Parkway in Chesapeake, Virginia. It also included the construction of three grade-separated interchanges at intersecting roadways and the construction of Veterans Bridge, a high-level fixed bridge that replaces a drawbridge crossing the Elizabeth River.
“With its signature bridge rising over 100 feet above the Southern branch of the Elizabeth River, the Dominion Boulevard Improvements Project is a shining example of a well-managed, major transportation project that provides economic, social and sustainable development benefits to the travelling public and surrounding communities,” said Scott Lovell, project manager for WSP USA. “This high-profile project not only improved traffic flow on one of the most highly congested roadways in Hampton Roads, but it improved maritime commerce along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway by eliminating the existing drawbridge in this location.”
WSP served as the prime consultant to the City of Chesapeake for planning, preliminary and final design, permitting, and construction support throughout the project development process.
Originally built as a two-lane rural roadway, Dominion Boulevard had become one of the most congested roadways in the Hampton Roads region, carrying over 33,000 vehicles per day.
“Congestion was exacerbated by frequent openings of the existing drawbridge, known locally as the Steel Bridge, highlighting the need for this critical transportation improvement,” Lovell said.
Dominion Boulevard is one of four projects nominated for the Pinnacle Award, which will be announced at the ACEC-Virginia Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Richmond on Feb. 1. The Grand Award recognition also qualifies the project for the national ACEC Engineering Excellence Award.
“Winning this award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the WSP staff that made this project such a success,” Lovell said. “Jeff Walker, our design manager, deserves special recognition for his efforts from the conceptual design phase all the way through construction. He kept the team focused on meeting all of the critical milestones during the project development process.”