January 2, 2024

City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks & Recreation Awarded $14.9M in Grant Funding for Construction of VB Trail Phase 1

VB Trail shared-use path will connect Virginia Beach to Norfolk

Virginia Beach City Council has appropriated $2.998 million of local match funding to Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation (VBPR) for the Virginia Beach Trail (VB Trail) Phase 1. This approval of appropriation from City Council follows $14.9 million in federal funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program(SS4A) to make safety improvements along the VB Trail, the largest such award in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Additional funding for this Capital Improvement Project includes a $750,000 Federal Community Project Funding Grant awarded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In November 2023, following the sale of an easement to Dominion Energy for the offshore wind project, an additional $902,000 of local funds was appropriated to the project.

The $19.5 million funding package for Phase 1 of the VB Trail will provide a 3.2-mile long 10-foot wide paved shared-use path connecting the City’s western border with Norfolk at Newtown Road to Constitution Drive in Virginia Beach Town Center. Safe crossings will be built at all intersections along the path. Phase 1 of the VB Trail Includes an ADA-compliant pedestrian/bicyclist bridge to be built over the existing 10-lane Independence Boulevard.

VB Trail Phase 1 render

“At Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, we are grateful to see local and federal government working together to provide funding for Phase 1 of the Virginia Beach Trail project to connect Norfolk to Virginia Beach Town Center,” said Michael Kirschman, director of VBPR. “This approval of funding will transform active transportation, increase pedestrian and bicycle user safety, spur economic strength and boost public recreational amenities in Virginia Beach.”

VB Trail Map

One and a half miles of the VB Trail already exist along Norfolk Avenue, from N. Birdneck Road to Pacific Avenue, crossing Lake Holly, at the Oceanfront Resort Area and terminates at Rudee Loop. When the VB Trail is completed, its 12 miles of shared-use path will cross the full width of the City of Virginia Beach, connecting communities, key destinations and other pathways.

The VB Trail is the top priority in the City’s Active Transportation Plan adopted by City Council in 2021 and will advance safety for both bicycle and pedestrian users, as well as vehicular modes of travel. The VB Trail will also be the easternmost segment of the 41-mile-long South Hampton Roads Trail and larger systems across the region, state and nation.

Stay in the know of all VB Trail updates by visiting www.virginiabeach.gov/vbtrail.

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City's coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents – regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances – can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department's vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is the 2023 National Gold Medal Award winner for excellence in Parks and Recreation Management in the Class I category by the American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.

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