The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) on February 16, 2023 approved $52.4M in funding from two federal programs for 32 individual improvement projects all across the region. The approved allocations are for Fiscal Year 2029 and are advanced under 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 available more generally for a wide variety of transportation project categories. Tables 1 and 2 below detail the individually approved CMAQ and RSTP project selections and allocations which were developed with the assistance of two HRTPO subcommittees: the Transportation Programming Subcommittee (TPS) and the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC).
For the CMAQ program, half of the funded projects address traffic signal system, timing, and coordination improvements in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, since such projects have been shown to be very cost effective in reducing vehicle emissions. The largest CMAQ funding award, $4.9 million, went to needed safety improvements along the major Route 460/58/13 corridor in Chesapeake. The remaining CMAQ awards support selected intersection improvements in Chesapeake and Suffolk, transit bus purchases for the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority, efficiency improvements in the movement of shipping containers in and around the Port of Virginia, and a Complete Streets lane repurposing project in Norfolk.
New bus purchases for Hampton Roads Transit represent the largest RSTP funding allocation at approximately $9.5 million. Reflecting the great flexibility of the RSTP program, the remaining funding allocations are divided between the regional travel demand management program, five road widening and improvement efforts, three active transportation (non-motorized) projects, two traffic signal system upgrades, three studies, and one safety enhancement across nine different jurisdictions and agencies.
The region conducts the CMAQ/RSTP Project Selection Process annually. For the current project selection cycle, 38 new CMAQ applications and 31 RSTP applications were submitted for funding consideration. The committees reviewed both the funding requirements of existing CMAQ and RSTP projects and also the scores and rankings of all new submissions in developing its funding recommendations in both programs. 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/).