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Action Summary: HRTPO Board Meeting January 16, 2020

Action Summary

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board Meeting

January 16, 2020

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

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 10:39 a.m.  Chair John Rowe introduced William McCarty, voting member representing Isle of Wight County, and William Gillette, voting member representative Southampton County.

 2. Approval of Agenda

The HRTPO Board unanimously approved the agenda as written. 

 3. Executive Director Report

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

  • A handout summarizing all transportation bills affecting the Hampton Roads Region for the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session was distributed at each seat.  He stated that HRTPO staff will update the chart weekly and can transmit the updates via email upon request.  He highlighted the Omnibus Transportation Bill, which if passed, would change the Transportation Funding Allocation Model for the Commonwealth.  He indicated that Mr. Michael Kimbrel, HRTPO Deputy Executive Director, was prepared to brief the Board, if time permits, at the conclusion of the meeting.

 

WORKSHOP AGENDA

4. Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Members Update

Mr. John Malbon, CTB member, reported that the CTB passed a $28 million funding package to build out the toll facilities from I-264 to Bowers Hill.  He also reported that the State has committed funding for a study to research both short- and long-term solutions regarding the loss of the 40-year old nesting site for 25,000 sea birds on an island along the HRBT.

5. Virginia Department of Transportation Update

Mr. Christopher Hall stated that the nationally significant incident on I-64 involving 69 vehicles that occurred shortly before Christmas was safely cleared in 7.5 hours in large part due to the cooperation of all localities involved. 

 

He provided a brief update on the Regional Priority Projects stating that VDOT received an advancement of $28 million to construct toll facilities for Segment 2 of the Regional Express Lane Network.  He noted amendments will be forthcoming to add the project to the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  Work on the I-64 Southside Widening project, including the High-Rise Bridge, is continuing, with girder placement beginning on the Bridge.  Major traffic shifts will occur in late February on Segment III of the I-64 Peninsula Widening project.  Median work will begin on the I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvements Phase II project for preparation of the flyover over I-264 near Witchduck Road.

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

There was no representative from DRPT in attendance.  

7.  Virginia Port Authority (VPA) Update

Ms. Cathie Vick reported that the Port has begun dredging along the west side of the Thimble Shoals Channel.  She stated that State funds are being used for the first element of this project and noted that the President’s budget includes federal funds for the second element.  She indicated that both the Virginia International Gateway (VIG) project and the Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) projects are wrapping up and the Port will concentrate on bringing more diversified cargo to the Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT) and attracting off-shore wind and other industrial commodities at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT). She stated the Port has been awarded a grant to upgrade its second barge that travels from Hampton Roads to Richmond.

8. HRT and WATA Updates

Mr. William Harrell reported that a handout regarding HRT’s high capacity transit projects was distributed to each member.  These projects are currently in the planning stages.

 

Mr. Zach Trogdon reported that after discussions with DRPT, WATA will begin the development of its transit strategic plan this summer. 

9. Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Update

Ms. Terry Danaher reported that at its last meeting, CAC had a presentation on the public participation efforts by HRTPO staff.  She also reported that CAC had a briefing on the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in the region and noted that flooding is an issue to be addressed not only by a few localities, but on a regional basis.  She noted that CAC has completed its new bylaws which will come before the HRTPO Board for approval in the near future.    

 

10. Military Liaisons Updates

Colonel Ed Vedder, Joint Langley-Eustis, stated that the Base is currently experiencing several deployments. 

 

            Captain Michael Moore, US Navy, had no comments.

 

LCDR Pete Francisco reported that the Coast Guard has changed its unit name from Sector Hampton Roads to Sector Virginia to reflect its broader area of responsibility.  It is also currently engaged with its Hampton Roads partners on the HRBT expansion regarding navigation safety concerns.

 

11. Airport Representatives Updates

Mr. Robert Bowen of the Norfolk Airport Authority reported that Norfolk International Airport had a record calendar year for 2019 with its highest passenger activity in its 81-year history.  The airport serviced approximately 4 million passengers this past year.  He noted that the Airport is in the process of completing its 20-year master plan which will go before its Board in February 2019.

 

Mr. Michael Giardino of the Peninsula Airport Commission reported that the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport had an impressive 2019 with ridership increasing by 30,000.  He stated that the Airport is aware of the inconsistent GSA fares and is addressing the issue.

 

Regional Connectors Study: Phase 3 Scope of Work

Mr. Craig Eddy, Michael Baker International (MBI), lead consultant for the Regional Connectors Study (RCS), reported that Phase 1 of the RCS was completed in April 2019 and Phase 2 of the Study was due to be completed in April 2020.  He stated that MBI is prepared to begin Phase 3 – Public Engagement, Alternatives Development, Alternative Assessment and Recommendation and is seeking approval from the HRTPO Board.  He noted that the budget for Phase 3 is $4,062,710.

 

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

 

 

 

12. Transportation Funding Opportunities: SMART SCALE, INFRA, and BUILD

Mr. Michael Kimbrel, HRTPO Deputy Executive Director, reported SMART SCALE funding is a state program and awarded based on a quantitative scoring process.  Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) and Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants are federal based programs and projects compete nationwide.  He outlined the SMART SCALE criteria and past HRTPO successes in obtaining funding for projects via the State program.

 

Mr. Robert Crum, HRTPO Executive Director, outlined the primary criteria for the INFRA and BUILD grants and stated that the HRTPO was unsuccessful in its past attempts to obtain funding through both the INFRA and BUILD programs.

 

Mr. Crum provided suggestions to the HRTPO Board on projects to consider for the INFRA and BUILD programs.  Following discussion, the Board reached a consensus to submit an INFRA Grant application for the I-64 Peninsula “Segment 4” (9 miles in the HRTPO Area) project.  The Board also directed HRTPO Staff to research past local BUILD applications and to report on their findings at a future Board meeting. 

 

13. Pro-Pass Port Reservation System

Mr. Mark Higgins, Director of Motor Carrier Experience for Virginia International Terminals, briefed the HRTPO Board on the Port’s past challenges including unacceptably slow truck turnaround times and inefficient terminal operations.  He outlined the Port’s Truck Reservation System, and noted that since its implementation, truck turnaround times have been reduced from an average of two hours to 30 minutes or less.  He stated that the system has positively impacted the productivity of the terminal and the Port’s trucking partners, as well as minimized the negative impacts to air quality by reducing extended truck idling times at the gate or on terminal.

 

MEETING AGENDA

 

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

There were no public comments.

 

15. Submitted Public Comments

There were no submitted public comments in the agenda packet.

 

16. Transcribed Public Comments From Previous HRTPO Meeting

This item was for informational purposes

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

17. Approval of Consent Items

 

The HRTPOBoard unanimously approved the Consent Agenda as written.

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

 

18. HRTPO Board Three-Month Tentative Schedule

This item was for informational purposes.

 

19. Minutes of HRTPO Committee Meetings

This item was for informational purposes.

 

20. For Your Information

This item was for informational purposes.

 

Old/New Business

Mr. Michael Kimbrel, HRTPO Deputy Executive Director, reported that the Omnibus Transportation Bill (HB1414/SB890), which was being introduced at the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session, proposes to:

 

  • Restructure Virginia’s transportation funding model
  • Transform rail in the Commonwealth
  • Reduce fatalities and injuries on Virginia’s highways

 

He summarized the key components of the bill, including the proposed funding allocation model and the Highway Use Fee associated with it.

 

He noted that the Omnibus Transportation Bill is included in the HRTPO Legislative Tracking Table that will be updated weekly by HRTPO staff.

 

ADJOURNMENT

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