NEWPORT NEWS -- VDOT is spending $38 million for a new four-lane divided roadway on Middle Ground Blvd. between Jefferson Avenue and Warwick Blvd.

With design complete, construction should begin this week with the contractor clearing trees and placing erosion control barriers and storm water drainage pipes.

Construction crews were ready to work Monday, but the rainy weather delayed that, said VDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Gwaltney.

The new roadway will help relieve congestion at existing intersections and parallel routes of J. Clyde Morris Boulevard and Oyster Point Road, VDOT added.

'It's a project that, at the public information meeting back in May, the citizens of Newport News are eagerly anticipating,' Gwaltney added.

The project is also being completed quicker and cheaper than expected because of the department's new design-construct contract.

One contractor is handling the design and construction of the new half-mile Middle Ground Boulevard, which cuts out the time it takes to wait for two seperate bids.

The project is included in VDOT's Six-Year Improvement Plan and the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization 2030 Long-Range Transportation Plan, as well as the city of Newport News Comprehensive Plan.

The project should be completed in December 2014.

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