Mallory Pointe pipe requires demolishing, rebuilding bike trail

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A 300-foot segment of the park-to-park trail will have to be demolished and rebuilt to allow for a new water main to serve the 812-home Mallory Pointe development on Battery Park Road.

Virginia Beach-based developer Napolitano Homes, as of September, expected to break ground this spring on the 500-acre former Mallory Scott Farm. Timmons Group engineer Ken Turner, however, estimates it could be six to nine months before construction of the 16-inch-wide pipe begins.

Smithfield’s Planning Commission approved Turner’s site plans unanimously on March 14. The plans show the work beginning where the 135-home first phase connects to Battery Park Road, then crossing the street to Stratford Lane, which serves as the access road for the adjacent, existing Wellington Estates development.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The use of the right-of-way alongside Wellington Estates comes at the town’s request, Turner said. His original plans, he noted, called for the pipe to run down the middle of Battery Park Road, but Smithfield – which will eventually own and maintain the infrastructure – wanted it in the right-of-way for easier access.

By boring under Battery Park Road rather than digging an open trench through the asphalt, Turner hopes to minimize impacts to traffic. The trade-off in using the right-of-way, however, is that the pipe will need to pass directly under the asphalt bicycle and pedestrian path at Rising Star Baptist Church. The pipe will cross back over to Mallory Pointe’s side of Battery Park Road just past Greenbrier Lane and connect to an existing water tower.

The new 16-inch pipe would eventually replace an 8-inch main serving the area. Once the 16-inch pipe comes online, the 8-inch main will be cut off and abandoned in place.

Once construction of the pipe begins, Turner estimates it will take four to five months to finish. The work will also include changing the timing on traffic signals at Battery Park Road and South Church Street in accordance with proffers Napolitano offered in 2021 as a condition of the project’s rezoning.

The Mallory Pointe development and its impacts to town infrastructure has been controversial since 2020 when Napolitano initially proposed over 1,100 homes. Despite a coordinated effort by local residents to oppose the project, Napolitano received the Smithfield Town Council’s 5-2 approval in 2021 for 812 homes.

The park-to-park trail, intended to eventually connect Carrollton’s Nike Park with Smithfield’s Windsor Castle Park, has also occasionally found itself in the public’s crosshairs for its increasing costs. The Isle of Wight County-funded, 3.1-mile stretch of trail from Nike Park to the corner of Battery Park Road and South Church Street was completed in 2021 at $8.6 million. When the town requested state funding for its 1-mile share, the estimated cost was $23 million and included widening South Church Street to include a center turn lane. The town learned in February that the project wouldn’t make the short list of state-funded projects under the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale cost-to-benefit formula.