RELEASE : IMMEDIATE

CONTACT : John Bolecek 804-371-4869

After Hours Media Line: 757-956-3032
April 9, 2020
VDOT TO CONDUCT RAIL TO TRAIL FEASIBILITY STUDY ON THE EASTERN SHORE
Study includes Accomack and Northampton Counties
SUFFOLK - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will conduct a planning study to assess the feasibility of constructing a shared use pedestrian and bicycle path along the Eastern Shore Railroad’s right of way in Accomack and Northampton Counties. The study area also includes railroad right of way in the Towns of Hallwood, Bloxom, Parksley, Onley, Melfa, Keller, and Painter in Accomack County and the Towns of Exmore, Nassawadox, Eastville, Cheriton, and Cape Charles in Northampton County.

In December of 2019, both the Accomack and Northampton Board of Supervisors passed resolutions of support approving the conversion and development of 49.1 miles of railroad corridor from Cape Charles to Hallwood for a rail to trail project. 

"As owners of the existing rail corridor we are excited to work with VDOT to study implementation of a trail to provide healthy living to citizens and visitors on the Eastern Shore" said Donald Hart, Chairman of the Accomack-Northampton Transportation District Commission.

The VDOT study will conduct the planning and engineering work needed to allow localities to pursue grant funding to develop a shared use path along the corridor in phases. The study will recommend an alignment for the path, develop cost estimates, estimate maintenance costs, and provide options for a management structure. 

"VDOT is looking forward to working with our project partners as we study the potential conversion of the previously used rail into a trail that promotes safety, healthy living and tourism on Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore," said Chris Isdell, Accomac Residency Administrator.

Public meetings to solicit feedback from residents and Town leadership are planned for this summer. Contingencies are in place if these need to be virtual meetings. An online survey to get feedback about the project will be sent out in the coming weeks.

For more information about the proposed improvements and creation of the trail, please visit the project website.

For information about the planning and engineering study contact John Bolecek, VDOT Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner ( john.bolecek@vdot.virginia.gov)

For information about the Railway’s involvement in the study, contact Canonie Atlantic Company General Manager, Jim Outland ( joutland@canonieatlantic.com)


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