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DRAFT Regional Procedures for Planned Closures at River Crossings

DRAFT Regional Procedures for Planned Closures at River Crossings

In response to the traffic congestion at open crossings resulting  from the simultaneous closings of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) and James River Bridge (JRB) in September 2012, HRTPO staff lead the operators of key river crossings in Hampton Roads—via the Hampton Roads Transportation Operations (HRTO) subcommittee of the HRTPO Board’s Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC)—in the preparation of a regional procedures document for planned closures at these crossings for maintenance and construction.  The document covers procedures for the following fifteen river crossings and the five agencies which operate them:

Subject River Crossings/Operator       

1. Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT)/VDOT             

2. Monitor-Merrimac Mem. BT (MMMBT)/VDOT             

3. Godwin Bridge (GoB)/Suffolk      

4. Hazelwood Bridge (HB)/VDOT             

5. James River Bridge (JRB)/VDOT             

6. Midtown Tunnel (MTT)/ERC                

7. Downtown Tunnel (DTT)/ERC                

8. Berkley Bridge (BB)/VDOT             

9. South Norfolk Jordan Bridge (SNJB)/SNJB               

10. Gilmerton Bridge (GiB)/Chesapeake  

11. High-Rise Bridge (HRB)/VDOT             

12. Steel Bridge (SB)/Chesapeake  

13. Great Bridge Bridge (GBB)/Chesapeake  

14. Chesapeake Expressway Bridge (CEB)/Chesapeake  

15. Centerville Turnpike Bridge (CVTB)/Chesapeake  

The purpose of this document is to enable operators to periodically close river crossings as necessary without causing travelers in Hampton Roads to either approach a crossing and find it closed, or to approach an affected parallel crossing and find it overly congested.  These regional procedures recommend and describe calculation of the traffic impact of closures and communication between—on one hand—the subject operator and—on the other hand—the other operators and the public.  An important element of the suggested communication between operators is to inform the other operators—via notices in Outlook (email/calendar software)—of planned closures to prevent multiple simultaneous closures from happening accidentally.  Note that, having been developed in response to the September 2012 traffic congestion caused by simultaneous closures, these procedures do not address the economic impact of the temporary closure of river crossings. 

Click Here to view a copy of the draft document. 

All interested parties are encouraged to review the draft report and send comments to Dr. Robert Case at rcase@hrtpo.org or by mail to 723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320. The deadline for comments on this draft report is November 20, 2013.

To help the operators calculate the expected traffic impact of candidate closures as suggested by these procedures, HRTPO staff prepared an aid document with calculation steps and supporting data.  To ease the execution of such impact calculations, HRTPO staff also prepared an electronic spreadsheet that automates these impact calculations.

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