JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
Officials from the city of Hampton and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia teamed up to host a public meeting on the LaSalle Avenue Corridor Resiliency Plan on March 10, at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.
Completed in late 2021, the LaSalle Avenue Corridor Resiliency Plan is a joint roadway study, funded by the Department of Defense and Hampton, which analyzes the impacts of flooding on the roadway and surrounding areas.
“I appreciate you all coming out and giving your input this evening,” said Col. Allen Herritage, 633d Mission Support Group commander. “Whether you’re for or against the plan, your feedback is a crucial part of the process; it allows us to make a more informed decision on the way forward. Our number one priority is to maintain our mission readiness while promoting coastal resiliency for the Hampton Roads community.”
The goal of the public meeting was to share the results of the study and solicit public comment. The LaSalle Avenue corridor is a critical access point to JBLE-Langley that serves 35 percent of base traffic. The study outlines several ways to mitigate flooding in the local area.
Multiple stations were setup in the Sportsplex that outlined the study’s results and three courses of action for residents to view. Each station was manned with representatives from an engineering consulting team the city has been working with on the resiliency plan.
Over 50 Hampton residents came out to voice their concerns and learn more about the plan.
“Citizens were able to review the findings and proposed recommendations, as well as provide feedback on their thoughts regarding the overall project,” said Bruce Sturk, director of federal facilities support for Hampton. “These events provide an excellent opportunity for citizens, city staff and JBLE-Langley staff, to collaborate and exchange ideas related to important resiliency issues.”
Many residents from the Riverdale neighborhood expressed their concerns on the plan’s impact on their community, such as a potential increase in traffic or flooding. Residents were given the opportunity to provide their inputs, both handwritten and online. This mechanism allows the city to hear the concerns of the community, such as where the water will end up if flood gates are built along the corridor.
“The base is an extension of the community, so issues with rising water and flooding impacts everyone,” said Lt. Col. Michael Askegren, 633d Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “Working shoulder to shoulder with the city is an integral part of the process; our strategy must be a fully coordinated and comprehensive approach to mitigating future sea level rise.”
More information on the LaSalle Avenue Corridor Resiliency Plan, along with an online comment form, can be found at https://hampton.gov/3913/LaSalle-Avenue-Corridor-Resiliency-Plan.
The city and JBLE-Langley will host a second public meeting at the Y.H. Thomas Community Center on March 15 from 4-7 p.m.