Virginia Beach voters will have a say in the future of light rail transportation when they head to the polls November 8.
A referendum was added to the ballot following a judge’s ruling in May after Virginia Beach Treasurer John Atkinson’s group ”No Light Rail Virginia Beach” collected enough signatures.
The nonbinding referendum asks voters:
Should the City Council of Virginia Beach spend local funds to extend Light Rail from Norfolk to Town Center in Virginia Beach?”
The Tide light rail extension is part of the city’s Envision2040 plan, which outlines a future transportation infrastructure.
The light rail network in Norfolk currently stretches 7.4 miles ending at Newtown Road. Virginia Beach City Council looked at four possible light rail routes extending it into their city, finally settling on the route that would expand to Town Center, primarily because of the lower court. It would include new stations at Witchduck Road, Kellam Road and Constitution Drive.
According to a recent Hampton Roads Transit report, the project is expected to cost $243.1 million. The state would pay up to $155 million toward the project.
The Sierra Club Chesapeake Bay Group announced two weeks before the General Election that it is endorsing the ballot referendum.