PORTSMOUTH -- Drivers who are used to having access to or through Harbor Dr., which is what the Martin Luther King Freeway becomes on the south side of High Street, are in for a lot of permanent changes to accomodate the project to extend the freeway to I-264.

According to a news release, Harbor Dr. in it's current configuration will no longer exist, and could close as early as July 21, depending on weather conditions.

Besides access from the existing freeway or High St. on Harbor Dr., King St. and County St. will be permanently blocked off where they currently intersect with Harbor Dr., and eventually reconfigured to loop back into each other.

The current footprint of Harbor Dr. will be taken up with the foundation of the new elevated extension of the M.L.K. Freeway.

These are the changes which drivers can expect:

  • Direct access to Harbor Dr. is no longer available from King St., County St. and Meander Rd.
  • Motorists wishing to access King St. or County St. east of Harbor Drive will need to use Constitution Ave.
  • Motorists wishing to access King St., Meander Rd. or County St. west of Harbor Drive will need to use Confederate Ave.

The first phase of work after the closure will involve the relocation of utilities, scheduled to begin next week. Once that work's complete, the roadways will be permanently reconfigured as previously described to accommodate the new raised MLK Extension.

A schedule of the closures and alternate routes can be found on Current lane closure information is available on VDOT's weekly lane closure forecast. Due to the nature of construction, dates are subject to change.

Officials want to remind everyone that they can visit, call 511 or listen to Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) 1680 AM or call the VDOT Traffic Information Line at 757-361-3016 for current traffic and travel information.

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