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The Elizabeth River is a short tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roadsmarker at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginiamarker in the United Statesmarker. It is located along the southern side of the mouth of James River, between the cities of Portsmouthmarker and Norfolkmarker. The estuary provides significant military and commercial port facilities for the two cities.

The main branch of the estuary is approximately 5 mi (8 km) long and 2 mi (3.2 km) wide at its mouth. It is formed at its southern end by three river estuaries from the east near its mouth.

The river was named by the Jamestown colonists in the early 17th century for Princess Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James I of England and a sister of the later King Charles I, and his older brother, Henry Frederick, who died of typhoid fever as a teenager. Many features in the early years of the Virginia Colony were named in honor of these three children of King James.

Motor vehicles cross the main portion of the river using the Downtown Tunnelmarker and the Midtown Tunnel.

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