PORTSMOUTH -- A section of Harbor Drive in Portsmouth will permanently close as early as Friday due to construction of the Martin Luther King extension.

The Elizabeth River Tunnels Project team, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation will permanently close Harbor Dr. between High Street and Turnpike Road.

Construction includes a new raised roadway that will be built above the existing Harbor Dr. corridor as part of the new MLK Extension alignment.

Business owner Shawn Burgess believes there are some benefits to the closure.

'It isolates the traffic flow closer to [County Street] which is good for businesses in this area,' Burgess said.

Completion of the MLK Extension will provide direct access between the Downtown and Midtown tunnels. New changeable message signs on the MLK Extension will also improve communication of traffic conditions to motorists.

Click here for more information about construction activities on the MLK extension.

A schedule of the closures and alternate routes can be found on

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