NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Due to pandemic restrictions, the City of Newport News took a unique approach for its grand opening of Atkinson Boulevard.
They held a ‘drive-in’ ribbon cutting event on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. Now, the road is open for travel.
Atkinson Boulevard is a new 1.2-mile, four-lane road that features a bridge over Interstate 64 and the CSX Railway. Another noteworthy feature is its multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.
Residents were able to register to be the first to bike along that path, which connects Warwick Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.
Residents also lined up to drive across the bridge Tuesday.
According to the city, plans for Atkinson Boulevard began back in 2011 and construction got underway in 2017. The $66 million project is a joint venture between Bryant Contracting, Inc. and Basic Construction Company, LLC.
The road is named for Harry Eugene Atkinson, a Newport News native who retired as a major from the United State Marine Corps. He practiced law in Newport News after serving his country, and served on City Council from 1962 to 1966 and 1974 to 1978 and as mayor from 1974 to 1976.
“Newport News City Council identified improving connections by bike, car, foot and public transportation as a key priority in our Strategic Plan,” said Mayor McKinley L. Price. “Atkinson Boulevard is an important part of enhancing our city’s connectivity. This new roadway, as well as numerous other projects in progress, are helping Newport News become one of the most vibrant and accessible cities in the state.”
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