Transportation in Hampton Roads

Transportation in HamptonSeen from historic perspective, the growth of Hampton Roads can be attributed to the harbor. The presence of this harbor offers both benefit and obstacle: It plays a main role in being a transportation conduit and it poses challenges for land-based commerce and travel. These challenges, however, were finally overcome over time. As the region becomes urbanize over time, transportation challenges also increase. Additional traffic needs also rise up.

Transportation challenges continue of being present in the 21st century with the existence of conflicts between land-based travel and traffic on waterways. The preexisting infrastructure planning can be found at site, it has been aged significantly and there was no sufficient funding that can be allocated to either repair or replace said infrastructure. Both the Kings Highway in Suffolk and the Jordan Bridge near the Chesapeake were built in the 1920s and were now closed, serving themselves as examples of how transportation infrastructure in Hampton Roads needs upgrading. The HRTA (Hampton Roads Transportation Authority) was founded in 2007. It brought with it controversial additional taxes which were meant to support funding for transportation projects. Said projects include the James River Bridge, Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel, and the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, all of which were thought to be too costly.

Newport News’ Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Norfolk’s Norfolk International Airport serve passengers coming from Hampton Roads. The former is the Virginia Peninsula’s primary airport. Said Airport saw growth in 2011, turning it into one of the country’s fastest growing airports. By 2012, however, the Airport suffered from massive declines in passenger service, leading to layoffs of many of its staff. The Norfolk International Airport houses seven airlines providing services to 25 destinations nonstop. The Hampton Roads Executive Airport is the 3rd busiest General Aviation airport in the state of Virginia. The Chesapeake Regional Airport provides similar services as the previous.

Transportation in Hampton Roads

Northeast Regional trains to Norfolk, Williamsburg, and Newport News stations are provided by Amtrak. The lines run to the west toward Richmond and to the north toward Washington D.C. as well as other cities north of Boston. Norfolk and Newport News stations are connected by buses and the two stations are also connected to Virginia Beach. Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service. Stations are located in Norfolk, Hampton, and Newport News. Within Hampton Roads, transportation is provided by Hampton Roads Transit. Williamsburg Area Transit Authority operates local routes to Williamsburg, James City, as well as to upper York County.

A Glimpse into the Hampton Roads

A Glimpse into the Hampton RoadsThe term Hampton Roads refers to two different things located within the same area in the States: a Virginian body of water and the metropolitan area surrounding it—which encompasses parts of Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. Hampton Roads stretches across Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC metropolitan area, and through an extension of Combined Statistical Area, which comprises NC Micropolitan Statistical Area, Kill Devil Hills, and Elizabeth City. The area of Hampton Roads is perhaps famous for the presence of military base, harbor that is free of ice, waterfront property that stretches for miles, beaches, coal piers, and shipyards. These features make up the stability and diversity of economy within the region. The body of water, which is referred to as Hampton Roads as well, is said to be one of the largest natural harbors in the world. The body of water is supplied by the Elizabeth River, James River, and Nansemond River, in addition to some rivers of smaller size. This collection of water then empties out into the Chesapeake Bay, which in turn leads to the Atlantic Ocean. Towns, counties, and cities on the Virginia Peninsula and in the South Hampton Roads make up the land area of the region.

Other areas that are further away from the harbor could or could not be said to be part of the Hampton Roads. It all goes back to the purpose. For instance, in terms of federal economic purposes, the metropolitan statistical area of Hampton Roads may include two North Carolina counties as well as another two counties within the Middle Peninsula of Virginia. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News of the VA-NC MSA is the 37th largest metropolitan area in the US with more than 1.7 million people it has. When the Combined Statistical Area counts another four counties in North Carolina, the number goes up to more than 1.8 million residents, making the CSA the 32nd largest in the US.

There are numerous attractions and historical sites within the area. The Hampton Roads owes its growth to the harbor. However, while the harbor holds an important role in transportation, it poses a number of obstacles when it comes to development of land-based transportation. It has been a major challenge to create and maintain sufficient infrastructure in the area. Both the HRBT (Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel) and the MMMBT (Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel) are two major harbors that cross the interstate of Hampton Roads Beltway.

A Historical Background of the Hampton Roads

A Historical Background of the Hampton RoadsThe English Captain Christopher Newport landed at Cape Henry (present-day Virginia Beach City) in 1607. The landing of this first colonist was referred to as the ôFirst Landingö. These colonists, however, moved from the area toward the upriver region to look for another place that is more defensible as the Spanish had also established the Ajacan Mission, a failed settlement effort on the Virginia Peninsula. The colonists settled on Jamestown Island on May 14, 1607 when they were done exploring the James River. However, as the site was marshy and low, it was unhealthy. Most of the constituents of the colonists died before Lord De La Warr, the new Governor, arrived. The new Governor came with John Rolfe, the person who would be responsible for the founding of the Virginia tobacco industry. The Hampton Roads soon became a popular location for commerce and shipbuilding. When the Old Point Comfort was fortified in 1610s and the Gosport Navy Yard was established in 1767, the Hampton Roads also became a prime site for military installations. Hampton Roads was also the site where the first naval action of the War of 1812 took place; a Royal Naval was captured by the American Privateer Dash. New fortifications, namely with Fort Wool and Fort Monroe, guarded the entrance from Chesapeake Bay, supervised by Robert E. Lee.

When the American Civil War occurred, the port was the setting for the historic Battle of Hampton Roads between the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor in 1862. While the battle ended in an inconclusive outcome, the lower James River, Norfolk, and Hampton Roads were taken over by the Union forces. Strong battery from the Confederation forced the Union forces to move upstream. Fort Monroe at the Chesapeake Bay was the site of the launching of Union General George McClellan’s army up the Virginia Peninsula.

In 1907, the Jamestown Exposition was held at Sewell’s Point in Norfolk County. This event was held to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607. President Theodore Roosevelt arrived in the Hampton Roads harbor as well as other famous people including Henry Rogers and Mark Twain. Sewell’s Point was a rural area until 1917 when it was made into the worldÆs largest Naval Base during the WWI. This location is known today as the Naval Station Norfolk. A large portion of the land in the port was converted into US Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

The Evolution of the Hampton Roads Area

The Evolution of the Hampton Roads Area

The Hampton Roads is a term that refers to a region that comprises many areas in both the states of Virginia and North Carolina. In Virginia, these areas are Gloucester County, Isle of Wight County, James City County, Mathews County, York County, City of Chesapeake, City of Hampton, City of Newport News, City of Norfolk, City of Poquoson, City of Portsmouth, City of Suffolk, City of Virginia Beach, and City of Williamsburg. In North Carolina, they are Currituck County and Gates County. The Hampton Roads metropolitan area was originally referred to as the Norfolk-Portsmouth Metropolitan Statistical Area in 1950. By this definition, the area encompassed cities such as South Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Norfolk as well as counties as Princess Anne and Norfolk. Virginia Beach parted from Princess Anne County in 1952. But in 1963, the Princess Anne County and the Virginia Beach merged again and retained the name Virginia Beach. In the same year, South Norfolk City and Norfolk County merged and the merger was named as the city of Chesapeake.

The Virginia Beach became a primary city in 1970 while the Chesapeake City was included into the MSA. The County of Currituck County, North Carolina was included as part of the MSA in 1973. The name Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News MSA was granted to a region encompassing 4 cities and 3 counties in 1983. The counties of Isle of Wight, Mathews, and Surry were included as part of the MSA in 1993. By 1990, Virginia Beach had passed Norfolk and was the largest city in Virginia State but it was only made the primary city in 2010. Gates County, North Carolina was included as part of the MSA while Surry County, Virginia was out following the Census of 2010.
The same Census of 2010 also showed that the region has a population of 1,676,822 residents. This number, however, is expected to raise in 2014 to 1,716,624 residents. The Hampton Roads was a name given to the area when it was still a struggling English post, around 400 years ago. The name itself was given to honor Henry Wriosthesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton and one of the founders of the Virginia Company. The Earl was also one of the supporters of the Virginia’s colonization.

Elizabeth City was the areaÆs administrative center in the past, named in honor of Princess Anne, the daughter of King James I. At the heart of the City was a town then named Hampton and the river near the town was named Elizabeth River.

Hampton Road Partnership