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Action Summary Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board Meeting November 17, 2016

Action Summary Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board Meeting November 17, 2016

Action Summary

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board Meeting

November 17, 2016

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


1.      Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 10:44 a.m.


Chair Linda Johnson recognized Portsmouth Mayor Kenneth Wright and Norfolk City Manager Marcus Jones for their contributions to both their jurisdictions and the HRTPO Board and wished them the best in their future endeavors.  She then introduced Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. and offered him an opportunity to address the Board.  


Secretary Layne informed the HRTPO Board that its request to expand its Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) to include portions of the City of Franklin and Southampton County had been approved by the Governor.  He went on to express his appreciation to the HRTPO Board for its efforts in recommending HRCS SEIS Alternative A-Modified as the Preferred Alternative to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).  He noted that the CTB will likely select Alternative A as its Preferred Alternative, but that he would be willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding supporting studies on how to move forward on the Bowers Hill interchange and other components included in the SEIS.


Secretary Layne noted recent concerns related to widening the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and land owned by Hampton University (HU).  He stated that no property will be taken from HU for the transportation project.


Secretary Layne stated that the $155 million that had been allocated to the Virginia Beach Light Rail Transit (LRT) project would now be available funding under the SMART SCALE prioritization process.


2.      Approval of Agenda

The Board approved the agenda as amended with a request from HRTPO Board Member Delegate David Yancey to speak at the conclusion of the Workshop Agenda.


3.      Executive Director Report

Mr. Robert Crum referred HRTPO Board members to the agenda packet for a summary of current work activities of the HRTPO.  He noted that he and Mr. Kevin Page, HRTAC Executive Director, briefed the Joint Senate and House Transportation Committee, noting that Hampton Roads was being viewed as a model for regional collaboration on transportation.




4.      Commonwealth Transportation Board Member Update

Mr. John Malbon was unable to attend the meeting.


5.      Virginia Department of Transportation Update

Mr. James Utterback reported that three of the nine Regional Priority Projects are currently under construction for a total value of approximately $329 million and that by December 2017, three more projects will be under construction.  These six Regional Priority Projects have a total value of approximately $1 billion. 

Mr. Utterback stated the groundbreaking ceremony for the I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvement project will occur at 2:30 p.m. today.  He noted that VDOT expects to have the HRCS SEIS Alternative A procurement strategy completed sometime next year.


6.      Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Update

Ms. Jennifer Mitchell reported that DRPT continues to work on the TIER II Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Richmond to Washington, D.C. portion of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor.  She noted the Draft EIS will be delayed as DRPT is waiting for a review from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).  She noted that DRPT will release preliminary recommendations to the CTB at its meeting next month. 


Ms. Mitchell stated that the fully funded ACCA CSX Rail Yard project in Richmond will provide the additional capacity that will allow for Trains 2 and 3 to Norfolk.  She further stated that DRPT is working with the Transit Capital Project Revenue Advisory Board, established by the General Assembly last session, to review the decrease in future transit revenues expected beginning in FY 2019.


7.      Virginia Port Authority Update

Ms. Cathie Vick reported that VPA finalized the contracts with its partner at the Virginia International Gateway Terminal for the new lease through 2065 and she noted the project should begin construction by the first of the year.  She stated VPA also signed a contract today with Coney Cranes, which will provide 86 automated stacking cranes to the VPA facilities in Hampton Roads. 


8.      HRT and WATA Updates

Mr. William Harrell reported that while HRT is disappointed relative to the light rail decision in Virginia Beach, it does not negate the importance of public transportation in the region.  He noted that HRT is proceeding with its Peninsula Corridor Study and the Naval Station Norfolk Analysis. 


Mr. Joshua Moore of WATA had no comments or updates.


9.      Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) Update

Mr. Greg Edwards stated the HRTPO Board’s decision to endorse Alternative A of the HRCS SEIS inspired much discussion and correspondence within CTAC.  He thanked Chair Linda Johnson for her time to share these observations.


10. Military Liaisons Updates

CMDR Ken Kostecki of the U.S. Coast Guard had no comments or updates.


Capt. Michael Moore of the U.S. Navy had no comments or updates


Col. Joseph Ladner of Langley-Eustis had no comments or updates.


11. Chesapeake Bay Bridget Tunnel (CBBT) – Status Report: Jeff Holland, CBBT Commission

Mr. Jeff Holland, CBBT District Executive Director, briefed the HRTPO Board on the project and presented a video that demonstrated how tunnel boring technology will be used for the project.  He noted that construction is scheduled to begin in October 2017 and be completed in October 2022.


12. FY 2017 FASTLANE Grant Opportunity: Camelia Ravanbakht, HRTPO

Dr. Ravanbakht stated that HRTPO staff was requesting HRTPO Board approval to submit an application in the amount of $100 million for the I-64 Southside Widening and High-Rise Bridge – Phase 1 project under the U.S. Department of Transportation FASTLANE Grant program.  She noted the project is in the HRTPO Fiscally Constrained 2040 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and is “shovel ready”.


This item was included in the agenda for approval under Item #17-E.


13. Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Update: Camelia Ravanbakht, HRTPO

Dr. Camelia Ravanbakht briefed the HRTPO Board regarding a number of passenger rail-related items from the HRTPO Rail and Public Transportation Task Force (RPTTF).  Following her report, she stated that HRTPO staff is requesting HRTPO Board approval to re-submit an IPROC Application for the TIER II EIS for the Richmond to Hampton Roads Passenger Rail project.


This item was included in the agenda for approval under Item #17-F.



At this time, Delegate David Yancey thanked Secretary Layne for his attendance and stated that the communities in Hampton Roads are excited about the regional decision that was achieved last month by the HRTPO.  He stated that by advancing the HRCS SEIS Alternative A and the feasibility of the Alternative A-Modified (Bower Hill Improvements) fiscally constrained project and funding plan, $8.33 billion in road capacity improvements will be delivered to Hampton Roads by 2035-2040. 


He reiterated his remarks from last month’s motion by stating that the $7.0 million, agreed upon during the discussion at the October 20, 2016 HRTPO Board meeting, and also agreed upon by the Secretary of Transportation and the House Appropriations Chairman, shall be used exclusively to study the remaining segments of the Hampton Roads Crossing SEIS that were not included in Region’s Alternative A-Modified.  These segments are the Patriots I-564/I-664 Connectors, I-664/Monitor Merrimack Memorial Bridge Tunnel and the VA 164/164 Connector.  He encouraged the HRTPO Board to continue to advance this effort with VDOT and HRTAC as soon as possible. 




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


A citizen from Virginia Beach expressed his opposition to the state’s decision to convert HOV lanes to HOT lanes on the Southside. 


A citizen from Portsmouth stated the HRTPO Board is addressing agenda items that should be addressed in the HRPDC meeting. 


A citizen from Norfolk expressed his gratitude to Secretary Layne for his promise to preserve the Emancipation Tree, located on the grounds of Hampton University, when widening I-64 at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.


A citizen from Portsmouth stated that it is unclear to consumers how much they are paying in gas tax. 


15. Submitted Public Comments

There were no submitted public comments.


16. Transcribed Public Comments From Previous HRTPO Meeting

This item was for informational purposes.


17. Approval of Consent Items

The HRTPO Board unanimously approved the Consent Agenda items.


18. HRTPO Board Three-Month Tentative Schedule

This item was for informational purposes.


19. Correspondence of Interest

This item was for informational purposes.


20. Minutes of HRTPO Committee Meetings

This item was for informational purposes.


21. For Your Information

This item was for informational purposes.


22. Old/New Business

There was no Old/New business.


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