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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chesapeake seeks to study joining light-rail line

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The Chesapeake, Va., City Council is curious about light rail and whether it could connect to Chesapeake, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports. So on Nov. 24, the council voted 8-0 to pursue a federally funded study on the possibility of extending light-rail service to the city.

the governing body of HRT, take necessary steps towards getting the study approved and funded.

Councilman C.E. "Cliff" Hayes Jr. said he would like the study to analyze whether the system could extend to South Norfolk or Greenbrier.

Councilwoman Patricia Willis said another federal study looked at a similar request about five years ago.

"It was determined that we were not densely populated enough, and to have it go over a bridge would be too expensive," she said. "I would be interested to see how we've changed over the last five years."

A light-rail transit system called The Tide is under construction in Norfolk and expected to open next fall. The $288-million starter light-rail line will span a 7.4-mile route from the city line at Newtown Road to the medical complex on Brambleton Avenue.

Chesapeake staffers originally wanted the city to be included in a regional study that's already looking into the possibility of extending light rail to Virginia Beach and the Norfolk Naval Base. But officials with Hampton Roads Transit said the study had already been approved and could not be changed, according to Chesapeake documents.

A resolution approved Nov. 24 requests that the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads,

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