The Portsmouth Partnership and Interim Portsmouth City Manager Brannon Godfrey have written in support of the City of Chesapeake’s request for grade separation at Freeman Avenue, adjacent to Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad’s soon-to-be expanded Virginia Yard facility. The unique opportunity presented by the combination of NPBL’s facility expansion and a Freeman Avenue flyover holds value for Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and the entire region. By mitigating congestion caused by the moveable lift bridge on the Elizabeth River’s Southern Branch, delays of both rail and vehicular traffic in Portsmouth and Chesapeake will be reduced, as will the delay of maritime traffic along the Elizabeth River’s Southern Branch. Perhaps more importantly, the combined project would provide a significant cooperative step toward expanding our existing infrastructure to better handle our port’s increasing volume of freight. The economic health of our region and our Commonwealth demands that we maintain a port which offers rapid, efficient throughput if we are to sustain growth in an increasingly competitive market. The Partnership recognizes that there is no substitute for strong relationships, clear long-term planning, and responsible budgeting if we are to maximize our opportunities.