Is “Nimmo Parkway Phase VII-B” the Right Choice?
- The City of Virginia Beach is pushing a $43 million proposal to build the so-called “Nimmo Parkway Phase VII-B” along a strip of public land that cuts right between the Lago Mar neighborhoods and through nearly a mile of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (“Refuge”).
- The City asserts that the new road is needed to provide access to and from Sandbridge, particularly when parts of Sandbridge Road flood. Unfortunately, the City’s proposal doesn’t address the problems on Sandbridge Road itself. It also threatens serious harm to the Refuge and would make flooding worse in the surrounding area during heavy storms.
Why the Proposal is a bad idea
• Building a road through the Refuge would undermine years of effort to protect the Refuge’s wetlands, preserve its unique wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.
• The proposed road would bisect an extensive wetland system that helps slow down and absorb flood waters coming into the area from the south as a result of wind tides, and from rainstorms flushing down from the north. During heavy storms, the several feet of dirt and fill that the proposed road would be built on top of would act much like a dike, raising flood levels and making nearby homes more vulnerable to flooding.
• The proposed road would turn the area between the Lago Mar neighborhoods into the main route for accessing Sandbridge, bringing with it all the accompanying beach traffic, street lights, and noise. Other neighborhoods—such as Southern Woods, Redmill Farms, Mirasol, South Shore Estates, and Ocean Lakes—would also be impacted by the added traffic and noise.
• The proposed road would not help the residents and businesses who live or operate on Sandbridge Road and are stranded with no way in or out when it floods.
• The need to fix flood-prone roadways is only going to increase in Hampton Roads, and this project would set a damaging precedent for paving new routes through the region’s remaining undeveloped areas, rather than upgrading the vulnerable roads to make them resilient to flooding.
The City’s proposed $43 million solution to flooding on Sandbridge Road is a new road that would harm wildlife, damage important wetlands that help absorb floodwater, and still leave Sandbridge Road residents stranded during floods.
A better solution
• Building a more flood-resilient road within the existing Sandbridge Road corridor would address the flooding and safety problems that affect the road, while minimizing impacts on valuable wetlands and wildlife habitat in and near the Refuge.
Make your voice heard
Email or call your federal legislators and Virginia Beach City Councilors to raise your concerns about the proposal and to call for more sensible solutions such as upgrading existing Sandbridge Road.
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator Mark Warner
Congresswoman Elaine Luria
Virginia Beach City Council
For updates and more information, please contact:
Back Bay Restoration Foundation
Lynnhaven River NOW
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, no person shall be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. If you feel you have been denied participation in, or denied benefits of, or been subjected to discrimination, in regard to this project development or otherwise discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability, you may contact the Virginia Department of Transportation, Office of Equal Opportunity located at 1401 East Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia, 23219 or telephone (804) 786-2935 or TDD (800) 307-4360.