PROJECT FACT SHEET
US Route 17
The new Dominion Boulevard bridge replacement and roadway widening will provide
relief to thousands of residents caught at a traffic choke point that has bedeviled
Chesapeake for decades.
Dominion Boulevard is also a major transportation link in the Norfolk-Raleigh corridor1,
and a key northbound component for hurricane evacuation plans for those living in the
Outer Banks and parts of Northeastern North Carolina.
The new route - with a fixed-span, high-rise bridge - addresses well-documented safety
and capacity deficiencies for both road and maritime traffic, and create opportunities for
new jobs and economic activity for our community.
The people of Chesapeake will be the sole owners of a new Dominion Boulevard bridge.
For decades, the Dominion Boulevard corridor was a sleepy and little used two lane road
spanning the Intracoastal Waterway. In 1990, the traffic count for the road was just
Today, Dominion Boulevard - still a two-lane road, still with the same lift bridge - is one
of the busiest and most congested corridors in Chesapeake. In 2012, the traffic count has
hit 33,000 vehicles a day3, making it one of the most heavily traveled two-lane roads in
As for disruptions to roadway traffic - and because the clearance between the roadway
and the water is relatively limited - the lift bridge is opened over 6,000 times a year4.
City of Chesapeake 6/1/12
With an average opening duration of 10 minutes, that means the bridge has been closed to
traffic for the equivalent of 42 days each year.
Despite interim safety improvements, the roadway still has a high accident rate5.
Following a study by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization to
prioritize projects, Dominion Boulevard ranked second overall but first among 153 other
projects in terms of its ability to reduce congestion and safety benefits6.
The project has been developed as a toll road because transportation funds from
traditional sources are lacking.
In 2010, a traffic and revenue study established a theoretical toll rate of $2.30 each
direction. Chesapeake has reduced that rate by:
• deferring projects and re-directing funds to Dominion Boulevard
• securing a $152 million low-interest loan through the Virginia Transportation
• securing $55 million in grant funds
Because of these efforts - and in order to pay for the bridge and roadway improvements –
it is estimated that when the bridge opens in 2017 the toll rate will be $1.00 in each
direction for E-ZPass users.
1. Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, 1991, Section 140.
2. VDOT Traffic Count Data
3. City of Chesapeake Traffic Count Data
4. Chesapeake Bridge Division
5. Hampton Roads Regional Safety Study, HRTPO
6. Hampton Roads Prioritization of Transportation Projects, HRTPO, December 2010.
City of Chesapeake 6/1/12