Taking Action: What’s going on with the expansion of the MLK Extension?

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As Elizabeth River Tunnels started a major construction project at the Midtown Tunnel, part of that is expanding the MLK Extension.

And some drivers are confused by the recent closures.

One driver sent NewsChannel 3 an email about the closures on US-58 in Portsmouth, leading to the London Boulevard exit.

That driver doesn’t understand why officials brought part of US-58 in both directions down to one lane, even though the original plan only called for the London Boulevard exit ramp to be closed.

She went on to say, making a throughway used by two military bases into a one-lane rush hour gridlock, is callous and inconsiderate.

NewsChannel 3 took action to get her and other drivers answers.

Today, ERT officials say the closures are part of the overall project.

As crews work on the off ramp, Leila Rice says part of the new MLK extension will be elevated and will start just before the current London Boulevard ramp.

That means they’ll start building the extension above the existing road on US-58.

Rice says they’ll also build a barrier wall on US-58 to keep drivers safe and away from the construction.

Information sent out by ERT on Friday did say long-term lane closures in both directions of US-58 near the London Boulevard Bridge would go into effect this weekend and remain in effect through the ramp closures.

How long is that?

ERT officials say it’s a long-term closure that could take up to 12 months.

But they’re hoping to complete it earlier than that.

Until then, though, drivers will be fighting their way through that one-lane rush hour gridlock for months to come.


  • Mark

    ERT does what they want and the city of Portsmouth is like their outhouse.Close lanes… hah aren’t they palnning a toll for that extension…

  • Mark

    Don’t worry…The city council will blame it on the School board and The former Govenor and first lady will beat their charges and will probably get to be on the Board of whatever foriegn business is behind ERT. Poor citizens of Portsmouth…more than a lane has been closed on your future.

  • Ppportsmouth

    Im glad this extension is happening, all that Portsmouth is is ghetto and polluting industry… Finally i wont have to drive through the slum, i can drive over it.

    • D.M Edwards

      I love you throw out blanket misinformed ignorant statements about a portion of the population in Hampton Roads that you obviously know nothing about. I have lived in the city of Portsmouth for going on 5 years, and have lived in Hampton Roads my entire life and have nothing but respect and admiration for the hard working citizens of my city. Remember that when you point your finger at someone three are pointing back at you my friend.

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