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Action Summary - HRTPO Board April 18, 2019

Action Summary - HRTPO Board April 18, 2019

Action Summary

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board Meeting

April 18, 2019

The Regional Board Room, 723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia

1.      Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 10:31 a.m.

2.      Approval of Agenda

The HRTPO Board unanimously approved the agenda as written. 

3.      Executive Director Report

Mr. Robert Crum introduced the following new employees:

  • Ms. Natalie Brown – HRTPO Administrative Assistant II
  • Mr. Andrew Margason – General Services Manager

Mr. Crum provided a summary of current work activities of the HRTPO, making particular note of the following:

  • The Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) Task Force convened its first meeting on February 25, 2019.  The Task Force will work with the Secretary of Transportation, the VDOT Commissioner, and the Attorney General’s Office to continue the discussion.


4.      Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Members Update

Mr. John Malbon reported that the State identified a dedicated revenue stream of $2 billion to fund improvements to I-81, I-95 and I-64.

Mr. W. Sheppard Miller reported Virginia legislators have directed the CTB to review ERC at the state level.  He noted the importance of the CTB and the Task Force communicating and working together.

5.      Virginia Department of Transportation Update

Mr. Christopher Hall reported that he will brief the HRTPO Board next month on the draft results of the Express Lane analysis regarding the operational impact of Express lanes from the I-664 Interchange in Hampton through Bowers Hill and provide an assessment of the traffic operations of the new projects.  He noted that HRTPO Board member comments from the January 2019 meeting will be addressed. 

Mr. Hall then provided a brief update on the Regional Priority Projects stating that all lanes of the I-64 Peninsula Widening Segment 2 project are operational with a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for late May or early June.  Construction is taking place in the median, along with the replacement of the Queens Creek Bridge on Segment 3 of the I-64 Peninsula Widening project.  The bridge over the collector lane of the I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvements Phase I project is under construction with the project on track to be completed in October 2019.  The I-64 Southside Widening project, including the High-Rise Bridge, is underway as pier construction has begun.

6.      Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) Update

Ms. Jennifer DeBruhl reported that the DRPT draft Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) is out for public review and comment.  She noted the draft SYIP includes six electric transit vehicles, including the supporting infrastructure for Hampton Roads Transit.  Also of note in the draft SYIP is funding for Long Bridge, the rail connector between Virginia and Washington, D.C.  She stated that the second AMTRAK train from Norfolk became operational on March 4th and has had over 2,700 passengers since its start date.

7.       Virginia Port Authority Update

Ms. Cathie Vick reported that the final rail bundle will be completed by the end of May at Virginia International Gateway with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 23, 2019.  She stated that the Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) project is progressing through Phase 2, with Phase 3 starting on September 1, 2019.  She stated the Port received $2.5 million from the President’s budget for engineering and design which is moving forward.  Dredging will begin in January 2020 on the west side of Thimble Shoals Tunnel and the Port will be eligible for construction funding from the President’s budget.  The Port is working closely with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Commission so that it does not impact any of the tunnels.

8.      HRT and WATA Updates

Ms. Jamie Jackson reported that as HRT expands its fleet, they are evaluating autonomous vehicles and how they may be used in Hampton Roads in the future.  She noted that the Peninsula Bus Rapid Transit project on the Peninsula is moving forward, along with the expansion of high capacity transit in Norfolk.

Mr. Zach Trogdon reported that WATA has six buses ready to go in production with delivery in June 2019.  WATA has also recently ordered three light duty buses.

9.      Community Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) Update

Ms. Terry Danaher reported that CTAC met last month with an interactive briefing from HRTPO staff which allowed CTAC members to provide input on the weighting of measures for the HRTPO Prioritization Tool.

10. Military Liaisons Updates

Captain Samson Stevens reported that he attended a resiliency conference with Mayor Alexander in Norfolk.  He stated that hurricane season begins June 1st and noted that a joint committee has been formed to review how to best recover if the Port received a direct hurricane strike.  The Coast Guard is working closely with VDOT with regard to the I-64 HRBT expansion project.  Captain Stevens expressed his appreciation to the localities for donations to service members during the government shutdown.

CDR Susanne Weinrich, US Navy, had no comments.

There was no representative in attendance from Joint Langley-Eustis.

11. Bowers Hill Interchange Improvements Study

Ms. Jennifer Salyers, VDOT Location Studies Project Manager, briefed the HRTPO Board on the Bowers Hill Interchange Improvements Study, noting that the three following alternatives were retained for analysis:

  • No-Build Alternative
  • Alternative 1 – Eastbound and westbound U.S. 58 Braided Ramps
  • Alternative 2 – Full Interchange Reconstruction

The Environmental Assessment (EA) is currently available for public review and comment though May 19, 2019.  Ms. Salyers stated that VDOT plans to recommend Alternative 1 as the Preferred Alternative and will request agency concurrence on the Preferred Alternative on June 12th.  VDOT plans to recommend the Preferred Alternative to the CTB on June 18, 2019.

The HRTPO Board agreed to discuss whether to take a stand on the request for agency concurrence at its May 16, 2019 meeting.

12. Hampton Roads Regional Bridge Study

Mr. Keith Nichols, HRTPO Principal Transportation Engineer, briefed the HRTPO Board on the 2018 update of the Hampton Roads Regional Bridge Study.  The Study provided a regional analysis of bridge topics such as bridge inspections and ratings, deficient bridges, bridge funding and projects, and the impacts that the closure of major bridges would have on Hampton Roads travel patterns.

13.  FY 2020 Draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

Mr. Michael Kimbrel, HRTPO Deputy Executive Director, reported that HRTPO staff, in coordination with Hampton Roads Transit, Williamsburg Area Transit Authority, Suffolk Transit, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, has developed the draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.  The UPWP describes the mutual responsibilities of the aforementioned entities in carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning process for Hampton Roads.

He stated that the draft UPWP was made available on the HRTPO website for public comment and review from April 3, 2019 through April 17, 2019.  The final UPWP will be on the May HRTPO Board agenda for approval.

14. Economic Impact of Bicycle Facilities – Phase One: Final Report

Dr. Robert Case, HRTPO Chief Transportation Engineer, briefed the HRTPO Board on Phase One of the Economic Impact of Bicycle Facilities report.  The report was initiated by a request from the City of Williamsburg, focused primarily on the tourist areas of the Historic Triangle and Virginia Beach, and utilized existing data sources to examine:

  • Key findings for studies of paths in other regions
  • Income, mode share, spending by visitors, bike shops, etc. in Hampton Roads

This item was included in the meeting agenda for approval under Item #18-K.


15. Public Comment Period (limit 3 minutes per individual)

There were no public comments.   

16. Submitted Public Comments

There were no submitted public comments in the agenda packet.

17. Transcribed Public Comments From Previous HRTPO Meeting

This item was for informational purposes.


18. Approval of Consent Items

The HRTPOBoard unanimously approved the Consent Items as written.


19. HRTPO Board Three-Month Tentative Schedule

This item was for informational purposes.

20. Correspondence of Interest

This item was for informational purposes.

21. Minutes of HRTPO Committee Meetings

This item was for informational purposes.

22. For Your Information

This item was for informational purposes.

23. Old/New Business

There was no Old/New Business.


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