The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) on January 18, 2024 approved $52.4M in funding for twenty-two individual projects across the region. The approved allocations are for Fiscal Year (FY) 2030 and are advanced under two federal programs, namely, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) and Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) initiatives. The CMAQ program provides federal funding for projects that improve air quality. RSTP funding is generally available for a wide variety of transportation project categories.
For the CMAQ program, half of the funded projects address traffic signal system, timing, and coordination improvements in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, since such projects have been shown to be very cost effective in reducing vehicle emissions. The largest CMAQ funding awards this cycle, at $4.9 million each, went to needed safety improvements along the major Route 460/58/13 corridor in Chesapeake and transit bus replacement purchases for Hampton Roads Transit. The remaining CMAQ awards support an intersection improvement in Chesapeake, efficiency improvements in the movement of shipping containers in and around the Port of Virginia, and a Complete Streets repurposing project in Norfolk, which will create a safe cycling option along a heavily traveled corridor while also reducing pedestrian crossing distances, thereby improving safety for the residents in this area.
One of the multiple and connected Laskin Road improvement projects in Virginia Beach, Phase III, represents the largest RSTP funding allocation at approximately $9.2 million. Reflecting the great flexibility of the RSTP program, the remaining funding allocations are divided between the regional travel demand management program, two road widening and improvement efforts, two active transportation (non-motorized) projects, two traffic signal system upgrades, three studies, and one transit vehicle replacement project across eight different jurisdictions and agencies.
The region conducts the CMAQ/RSTP Project Selection Process annually. However, new applications for CMAQ and RSTP projects were not accepted for the current project selection cycle since the funding requirements in FY 2030 for existing projects in both programs were already calculated to be near or above the projected available funding targets. Instead, the relevant committees reviewed the funding information for all previously approved CMAQ and RSTP projects in developing its funding recommendations for both programs, making adjustments in allocation amounts and phasing years as appropriate in order to bring totals in line with the established FY 2030 funding targets. The complete competitive process used to select projects to receive funds from these two programs has been approved by the HRTPO Board and is documented in the Guide to the HRTPO CMAQ/RSTP Project Selection Process (https://www.hrtpo.org/page/cmaq-and-rstp/).
Tables 1 and 2 below detail the approved CMAQ and RSTP projects and allocations, developed with the assistance from regional stakeholders on the Transportation Programming Subcommittee (TPS) and the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC).