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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Norfolk light-rail crews to rebuild Fort Norfolk intersection

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Light-rail construction crews, who are working toward a mid-July completion deadline in downtown Norfolk, Va., must rebuild an intersection after flooding caused the underpinnings to settle, The Virginian-Pilot reports. The at-grade crossing at Brambleton Avenue and 2nd Street in the Fort Norfolk area will be torn out for two weeks starting June 1, Hampton Roads Transit spokesman Tom Holden said. The work will not affect traffic on Brambleton but will detour 2nd Street traffic.


Water seeped into the foundation soil under the light-rail tracks, resulting in the tracks settling at the intersection. The rails will be removed and the base excavated and replaced with a different material that will hold up better in wet conditions, Holden said.

HRT will bear the cost, which has not been calculated, he said.

The area near The Hague is known to flood when tides rise abnormally high.

"Flooding occurs in Hampton Roads," Holden said. "The area is formerly known as Tidewater for a reason."

He said that once light-rail service begins a year from now, there could be times when high water shutters the system. He said building an elevated light-rail line was cost- prohibitive.

Holden said inspectors would ensure there are no other settling problems along the 7.4-mile light-rail line that runs from Newtown Road at the city line through downtown to the medical complex on Brambleton Avenue.

"When you build stuff like this and things don't go quite right, you tear it up and redo it," he said.

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