Hampton Roads is Not About the Roads – It’s About The Water
If you are a tourist visiting the Newport News/Virginia Beach/Norfolk area you might wonder what in the world Hampton Roads refers to and why southeastern Virginia is called a name after the highway and one of the area cities.
Hampton is one of the seven sister cities of southeastern coastal Virginia but Hampton Roads refers to the waterway that lies between the peninsula where Hampton is found and the south side of the James River with the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach as well as Chesapeake, VA.
Hampton Roads is really a nautical term. The maritime history of this part of Virginia is something to be proud of. Every time I cross the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel from Norfolk where I live over to Hampton, I’m always blown away by the vast beauty of the water.
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is where the Chesapeake Bay meets the lower part of the James River and the Elizabeth River. The Elizabeth River is one of the deepest natural channels in the US. Norfolk is one of the few port cities on the east coast of the U.S. which will be dredged to 55 or 60 feet depth to allow the largest vessels that come from all over the world to deliver goods to Americans.
The depth of the Elizabeth River and the huge estuary which is the Chesapeake Bay are part of what brought both Spanish and English colonists to this part of the new world. If it weren’t for these deep waters of Hampton Roads then Jamestown, Virginia would not have been among the first English speaking settlements.
Most Virginians know that history. Having grown up in Tidewater, Virginia I take a lot of pride in the power and natural beauty of our Hampton Roads waterways.
The vastness and beauty of the water does pose transportation problems. In earlier times, the waterways were the highway. If you wanted to get goods from England to the colonists in Jamestown or Williamsburg you would take them across the Atlantic into the Chesapeake Bay and up the James River towards the settlements there.
The waterways in Virginia are amazing. However, today most transportation of goods is really by truck. So the highways become the way that people and goods move around the US and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, there are a limited number of crossings of the James River and the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to allow people and things to move from Norfolk and Virginia Beach back towards Richmond and the rest of Virginia. These bridges and tunnels are by their nature bottlenecks. All of the traffic has to cross on whatever number of lanes are available and open for cars and trucks.
As a result of all of our water in Hampton Roads and the limitations of our infrastructure transportation needs are always at the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, the traffic in our community has become worse than ever. It’s still a tremendous place to live and raise your children. However getting to the ballgame in the afternoon is often more of a challenge than we wish it were. For better or worse it also makes Hampton Roads, Virginia a good place to be a personal injury attorney as I am.
I have never not had enough work to do as a car accident lawyer in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA. Unfortunately, car accidents and injuries are also a part of life in this great community. If you have been hurt in a wreck with injuries caused by the fault of another, call a personal injury lawyer with local knowledge at (757) 455-0077.