The Hampton Roads Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a multi-year program for the implementation of surface transportation projects within Hampton Roads metropolitan planning area (MPA). The TIP is developed by the HRTPO in cooperation with state transportation agencies and local public transportation operators. A TIP contains all federally-funded and/or regionally-significant projects that require an action by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Before any federally-funded or regionally-significant surface transportation project can be built in the MPA, it must be included in a current TIP that has been approved by the HRTPO Board.
The current, FY 2009-2012 TIP was originally approved by the Board in June 2008 and has been updated on a regular basis since then. Work has just begun on the development of a new, FY 2012-2015 TIP for Hampton Roads. The basic steps for development of the TIP may be summarized as follows:
1. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), HRTPO, and local public transit agencies coordinate to develop the draft TIP project list, drawing projects from the approved Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
2. The draft TIP project list is tested for air quality conformity. This step ensures that implementation of the transportation projects in the TIP will conform with regional air quality plans and not worsen air quality.
3. The final TIP document is approved by the HRTPO Board.
There are multiple smaller steps associated with each of the steps listed above. Not the least of these is the opportunity for public participation. Efforts are made to engage the public in reviewing and commenting on the draft TIP project list, the air quality conformity analysis, and the draft TIP document prior to final approval by the HRTPO Board.
We are currently working on Step 1 above, and the draft TIP project list has been made available for public review on the HRTPO website at http://www.hrtpo.org/HRTPO_PubNotice.asp. All interested parties are invited to review the draft TIP project list, as well as comments provided by HRTPO staff and the staffs of several Hampton Roads localities, and to provide comments to HRTPO staff by March 9, 2011. Additional public participation opportunities will be announced as development of the TIP moves forward.