Light rail not expected to expand to west side of Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. - Transportation officials now say they don't recommend expanding the Tide to the west part of the city.

Hampton Roads Transit is holding two meetings this week to update the public on extending the light rail.

HRT had been considering expanding the light rail along Hampton Boulevard through ODU or along Granby Street, but transportation officials say those routes would be too vulnerable to flooding and too expensive. One of the proposed routes would require going over the Lafayette River. The other would intersect with the interstate.

"One of the things is ridership," said Jamie Jackson, the project manager for HRT. "We don't see the robust ridership we would be looking for for this type of project."

Now, Jackson says the focus will be on expanding the Tide on the east side of the city with a possible route along Military Highway to Naval Station Norfolk. "It could potentially connect areas such as Military Circle, Military Highway, JANAF Shopping Center, and a big point for the public and some in the region is connecting to the airport," Jackson said.

The first meeting is being held on Monday from 6-7:30pm at the HRT Headquarters on 18th Street. The other is scheduled for Thursday evening from 6-7:30pm at Lambert's Point Community Center.