Norfolk, Virginia | infrastructure

Infrastructure

Transportation

Hampton Roads Transit bus at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel
Ferry to Portsmouth

Norfolk is linked with its neighbors through an extensive network of arterial and Interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and bridge-tunnel complexes. The major east-west routes are Interstate 64, U.S. Route 58 (Virginia Beach Boulevard) and U.S. Route 60 (Ocean View Avenue). The major north-south routes are U.S. Route 13 and U.S. Route 460, also known as Granby Street. Other main roadways in Norfolk include Newtown Road, Waterside Drive, Tidewater Drive, and Military Highway. The Hampton Roads Beltway (I-64, I-264, I-464, and I-664) makes a loop around Norfolk.

Norfolk is primarily served by the Norfolk International Airport (IATA: ORF, ICAO: KORF, FAA LID: ORF), now the region's major commercial airport. The airport is located near the Chesapeake Bay, along with the city limits straddling neighboring Virginia Beach.[137] Seven airlines provide nonstop services to twenty five destinations. ORF had 3,703,664 passengers take off or land at its facility and 68,778,934 pounds of cargo were processed through its facilities.[138] Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport also provides commercial air service for the Hampton Roads area.[139] NNWIA is also the only airport in the region with direct international flights, as of February 2013. The Chesapeake Regional Airport provides general aviation services and is located 5 miles (8.0 km) outside the city limits.

Norfolk is served by Amtrak's Northeast Regional service through the Norfolk station, located in downtown Norfolk adjacent to Harbor Park stadium. The line runs west along Norfolk Southern trackage, paralleling the US Route 460 corridor to Petersburg, thence on to Richmond and beyond. A high-speed rail connection at Richmond to both the Northeast Corridor and the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor are also under study.[140]

Greyhound Lines provides service from a central bus terminal in downtown Norfolk.[141]

In April 2007, construction of the new $36 million Half Moone Cruise Terminal was completed downtown adjacent to the Nauticus Museum, providing a state-of-the-art permanent structure for various cruise lines and passengers wishing to embark from Norfolk. Previously, makeshift structures were used to embark/disembark passengers, supplies, and crew.[67]

The Intracoastal Waterway passes through Norfolk. Norfolk also has extensive frontage and port facilities on the navigable portions of the Western and Southern Branches of the Elizabeth River.

Light rail, bus, ferry and paratransit services are provided by Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), the regional public transport system headquartered in Hampton. HRT buses operate throughout Norfolk and South Hampton Roads and onto the Peninsula all the way up to Williamsburg. Other routes travel to Smithfield. HRT's ferry service connects downtown Norfolk to Old Town Portsmouth.[142] Additional services include an HOV express bus to the Norfolk Naval Base, paratransit services, park-and-ride lots, and the Norfolk Electric Trolley, which provides service in the downtown area.[143] The Tide light rail service began operations in August 2011.[144] The light rail is a starter route running along the southern portion of Norfolk, commencing at Newtown Road and passing through stations serving areas such as Norfolk State University and Harbor Park before going through the heart of downtown Norfolk and terminating at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.[145] Hampton Roads Transportation, Inc. dispatches Black and White Cabs of Norfolk, Yellow Cab of Norfolk and Norfolk Checker Cab.

Utilities

Water and sewer services are provided by the city's Department of Utilities. Norfolk receives its electricity from Dominion Virginia Power which has local sources including the Chesapeake Energy Center (a gas power plant), coal-fired plants in Chesapeake and Southampton County, and the Surry Nuclear Power Plant. Norfolk-headquartered Virginia Natural Gas, a subsidiary of AGL Resources, distributes natural gas to the city from storage plants in James City County and Chesapeake.

Norfolk's water quality has been recognized one of the cleanest water systems in the United States and ranked as the fourth best in the United States by Men's Health.[146] The city of Norfolk has a tremendous capacity for clean fresh water. The city owns nine reservoirs: Lake Whitehurst, Little Creek Reservoir, Lake Lawson, Lake Smith, Lake Wright, Lake Burnt Mills, Western Branch Reservoir, Lake Prince and Lake Taylor.[147] The Virginia tidewater area has grown faster than the local freshwater supply. The river water has always been salty, and the fresh groundwater is no longer available in most areas. Currently, water for the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach is pumped from Lake Gaston (which straddles the Virginia-North Carolina border) into the City of Norfolk's reservoir system and then diverted to the City of Chesapeake for treatment by the City of Chesapeake. Virginia Beach's portion of water is treated by the City of Norfolk at Moores Bridges water treatment plant and then piped into Virginia Beach. The pipeline is 76 miles (122 km) long and 60 inches (1,500 mm) in diameter. Much of its follows the former right-of-way of an abandoned portion of the Virginian Railway.[148] It is capable of pumping 60 million gallons of water per day; Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are partners in the project.[149]

The city provides wastewater services for residents and transports wastewater to the regional Hampton Roads Sanitation District treatment plants.[146]

Healthcare

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

Because of the prominence of the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and the Hampton VA Medical Center in Hampton, Norfolk has had a strong role in medicine. Norfolk is served by Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Leigh Hospital, and Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center. The city is also home to the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters and Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital.[150]

Norfolk is home to Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), which is known for its specialists in diabetes, dermatology, and obstetrics. It achieved international fame on March 1, 1980, when Drs. Georgianna and Howard Jones opened the first in vitro fertilization [151] clinic in the U.S. at EVMS. The country's first in-vitro test-tube baby was born there in December 1981.[152]

The international headquarters of Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that specializes in repairing facial deformities in underprivileged children from around the globe, is located in the city.[153]

Physicians for Peace,[154] a non-profit that focuses on providing training and education to medical professionals in the developing world, is based in Norfolk.

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