VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — There’s a special project in Virginia Beach that developers call “life-changing.” They just have to get the funding needed to move forward with it.
It’s called the Virginia Beach Trail and its approval actually dates back to 1981.
“The Virginia Beach Trail is a long-term project that will connect parts of our city that are currently hard to navigate by walking and biking,” said Walter Camp of the Virginia Beach Bikeways and Trails Advisory Committee.
Camp said it would be a 10-foot wide, paved, shared-use path through the former Norfolk Southern Railway corridor. This is the same corridor where light rail could have existed but was voted down by Virginia Beach residents years ago.
The Virginia Beach Trail would stretch the length of the city east to west, from the city limit line at Newtown Road all the way to the Oceanfront.
“There are so many other spurs and smaller trails that could connect to this, but this would truly be almost like our superhighway for active transportation, a spine of active transportation network and primary network through our city,” said Elaine Linn, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation active transportation planner.
Linn said the corridor is 66 feet wide, so in the future it could be used by bicyclists, pedestrians, and some sort of rapid transit — something other than light rail — all at the same time. About 1.5 miles of the trail has already been built near the Oceanfront, but to get the rest of the project complete, planners need funding.
Linn says they are working on grants or other sources of funding like a public-private partnership of some kind.