The City Planning Commission is scheduled to hear a rezoning application of the Newport News/Williamsburg Airport which would accommodate a shopping area including a potential Wegmans near the intersection of Jefferson and Brick Kiln Boulevard. In order to address the increased traffic and actually improve the traffic flow, there are significant improvements
planned. The proposed development would add approximately 12,000 trips per day in addition to the approximately 70,000 trips per day, corridor. As with all new developments, the City of Newport News requires a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) and traffic improvements to handle the traffic before the development is approved. The TIA shows traffic flows and issues before and after the development, and identifies improvements that may be needed to minimize traffic impacts. The improvements include an extension of Habersham Drive to Brick Kiln Boulevard that will provide an additional connection to Jefferson Avenue at the existing Habersham Drive traffic signal, giving an alternate entrance/exit to Brick Kiln Boulevard traffic. This will also extend turn lanes, add pedestrian signals and islands and re-synchronize traffic signals in the corridor. The traffic analysis shows that the traffic conditions even with the planned center would be better than they are today.
This project presents a unique opportunity to generally reduce travel times and delays for the affected intersections and roadways. This is largely because the very heavy north/south traffic along Jefferson Avenue, roughly 3,000 cars each way during the peak hour, benefits from approximately 20 seconds of additional time in each roughly 140-second light cycle. This time is gained by prohibiting straight across movements at Brick Kiln & Jefferson and at Habersham & Jefferson, similar to the conditions today at Boykin & Jefferson. Only about 80 cars make the straight-across movement during the peak hour, and those cars will be able to reach the same destination by travelling along Habersham Extended, Brick Kiln and Jefferson. Those few cars will experience an increase of about 40 seconds to reach their destination even with the additional distance and extra turns. The roughly 6,000 cars along Jefferson that today experience more than 50 seconds of delay will see their delays decreased to about 25 seconds. Prohibiting the straight-across movements allows the traffic on both sides of Jefferson to move through the intersection together, reducing the number of traffic signal phases and expanding the time available for travel.