Commander Shepard Blvd. improvements
HAMPTON-The second part of the new and improved Commander Shepard Blvd. in Hampton is open.
Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday morning.
The road is an east/west link between Big Bethel Road and Magruder Boulevard as well as serving as a gateway to the business park, Langley Air Force Base and NASA-Langley Research Center.
The two-mile stretch from North Campus Parkway to Big Bethel Road includes new sound walls, bike lanes, landscaping and sidewalks. The $9.5 million project started in April 2012.
It followed $14 million in improvements from Magruder Boulevard to North Campus Parkway.
Hampton officials are planning to expand the gateway to Newport News by widening Saunders Road, where Commander Shepard Boulevard ends, starting at the intersection with Big Bethel Road. They say it will connect the two main technology clusters on the Peninsula surrounding Jefferson Lab and NASA Langley.
Commander Shepard Boulevard is named for astronaut Alan Shepard Jr. He and the other original Mercury astronauts trained at Langley. In 1961, he became the first American to travel into space.