City Center Boulevard
The highly-anticipated extension of Middle Ground Boulevard was officially opened this year. The completion of this East/West traffic corridor between Warwick Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue has provided a much-needed increase of connectivity between the Greater Oyster Point area and City Center at Oyster Point. This roadway was also designed to be a connection point to the originally named Middle Ground Boulevard (from Jefferson Avenue to Rock Landing Drive). Upon completion of construction, City Council, acting on strong support and advice from local business owners and community leaders, approved the renaming of the segments of road and took action to facilitate the transition. The unified segments of this major thoroughfare run directly through the center of the City and connect the City Center area more closely with the Warwick Boulevard corridor, its businesses, surrounding residential communities and Christopher Newport University. Efforts to minimize impacts to business operations originally on the road were enacted such as the posting of special signage at each street that intersects with City Center Boulevard, clearly identifying the new name, dual indication of street names by means of ongoing street signage and collaboration with electronic and on-line mapping and GPS programs to update their mechanisms accordingly.
Importantly, in order to help facilitate the name change, the EDA also created the Consumables Transition Grant (CTG) to assist businesses and organizations that have been impacted by the renaming. The reimbursable grant offered a maximum of $500 for business consumables, marketing materials, and directional and business location-related identifiers that previously made reference to the business’s or organization’s former Middle Ground Boulevard or Spring Road address. A special grand opening event was held on April 4th and the citizens of Newport News were able to be the first ones to access this much-needed infrastructure enhancement for the City of Newport News.