On Tuesday, March 27 city officials, engineers, contractors and others gathered at the construction site for the Atkinson Boulevard Bridge to watch the laying of the first pieces of the foundation. The event, emceed by Councilwoman Sharon Scott, included an invocation from Councilwoman Saundra Cherry, remarks from Mayor McKinley Price, and a project overview from City of Newport News Director of Engineering, Everett Skipper. Council members, along with city manager Cindy Rohlf, the engineering director, and members from the construction company blew air horns to signal a crane that laid the first piece of the bridge’s foundation.
The new construction will create a four lane divided raised median roadway with 1742 foot bridge structure over I64, CSX railroad and environmentally sensitive wetlands areas between the primary roadways of Jefferson Avenue and Warwick Boulevard. Improvements will include widening the existing Atkinson Way from Warwick Boulevard to Mary Passage Middle School.
The new roadway connection will alleviate traffic congestion and reduce commuter travel times by providing an important connection between the City’s major roadways, Jefferson Avenue and Warwick Boulevard. The improvements also include a 10 foot shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists traversing the length of the project on the Mary Passage Middle School side of the new roadway expanding to 14 feet on the new bridge.
Construction began August 2017 and is expected to be completed November 2020.