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HRTPO Board Action Summary

HRTPO Board Action Summary


 Action Summary 

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board Meeting 

November 16, 2017 

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

1. Call to Order 

The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 10:33 a.m. 

2. Secretary of Transportation Briefing 

The Honorable Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. participated via conference call and expressed his appreciation to the HRTPO Board for its cooperation over the past four years. He also congratulated the Board on its many successes, including: 

HRTAC-Funded Regional Priority Projects 

SMART SCALE Program provided $397 million to Hampton Roads, the most money received by any one region for its interstate system 

Secretary Layne stated the grand opening for Segment 1 of the I-64 Peninsula Widening project is planned for December. He further stated that the HOV to HOT Express Lanes will come on-line in December. He noted that the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) procurement process is moving forward and thanked the Board for its historical regional decision in advancing this project. 

Chair Tom Shepperd thanked Secretary Layne for his outstanding service regarding the tremendous improvements to the transportation infrastructure in the state of Virginia and in particular Hampton Roads. 

3. Approval of Agenda 

Chair Shepperd welcomed new HRTPO Voting member, Mayor Rick West of Chesapeake. 

The HRTPO Board unanimously approved the agenda as written 

4. Executive Director Report 

Mr. Robert Crum provided a summary of current work activities of the HRTPO with particular note to the handout at today’s meeting consisting of the HRTPO Board-approved Legislative Priorities for the upcoming 2018 General Assembly Session. 


5. Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Member Update 

There was no CTB representative in attendance. 

6. Virginia Department of Transportation Update 

Ms. Dawn Odom reported that the ribbon cutting ceremony for Segment 1 of the I-64 Peninsula Widening project will occur on December 1st at 9:00 a.m. at the Industrial Park Bridge which is located at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Industrial Park Drive in Newport News. She stated that Board members can expect an invitation via email. 

She indicated that Segment 3 of the I-64 Peninsula Widening project will be awarded at the December CTB meeting to Shirley Contracting Company, the same firm that is completing Segment 1 of the Peninsula Widening project. 

She noted that VDOT is currently testing the HOT Express lanes and verification should be completed in December. Drivers can expect to see strobe lights during the testing; however, there will be no tolls until extensive public outreach has occurred. 

7. Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Update 

Ms. Cheryl Openshaw reported that in August, DRPT completed its study regarding the probable costs and potential funding sources for the Tier II Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for higher speed passenger rail between Hampton Roads and Richmond. DRPT briefed the HRTPO Rail and Public Transportation Task Force (RPTTF) on the results of this study in September, including an approximate cost of $24 million, FY 2018 dollars. She indicated that funding is constrained at both the federal and state levels and it is not known when any funds will be appropriated for the Tier II. She noted that DRPT will continue to work with HRTPO staff on pursuing other funding options to move this effort forward. 

Ms. Openshaw stated that ridership for the current Norfolk AMTRAK service has increased by six percent, attributed mainly to the regional marketing effort that was put forth by Hampton Roads. She noted that there is $15 million in the Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP) for Norfolk Trains 2 and 3, to begin operation in 2019 and 2022, respectively. She commented that the five-year anniversary for the first Norfolk train will occur on December 12th and DRPT is working with the City of Norfolk to celebrate the event. 

She noted that DRPT recently welcomed Mr. Michael McLaughlin as Chief of Rail Transportation. 

8. Virginia Port Authority Update 

Mr. Kit Chope reported that the General Re-evaluation report for the Norfolk Harbor Deepening report is available for public review and comment until December 10, 2017. He stated that the Norfolk Harbor will be dredged to the depth of 55 feet with some widening that will allow for the accommodation of larger ships in a safe and expeditious fashion. He stated the Virginia International Gateway Expansion project in the City of Portsmouth is moving forward, as is the $350 million Norfolk International Terminals Optimization program in the City of Norfolk which will break ground in January 2018. The I-564 Intermodal Connector will open soon, in limited fashion that will allow direct access to the North Gate complex. 

9. HRT and WATA Updates 

Mr. William Harrell reported that HRT is continuing with the Peninsula Corridor Study and expressed appreciation to the Hampton and Newport News City Councils for their Resolutions of Support. HRT plans to move forward with a baseline of environmental work for the bus rapid transit project, with two or three possible alignments, so that if and when funding becomes available, HRT will be able to proceed. He noted that HRT plans to reprogram some of its planning money to aid with its fleet state of good repair. 

Mr. Zach Trogdon reported that WATA is currently preparing its FY 2019 budget to send to the localities. WATA is working on outstanding capital projects, including fleet replacement and shelter improvements. He noted that WATA plans to implement a system that will provide more accurate data on ridership and passengers, and also review a project that will re-power some of its CNG fleet. He stated that WATA is looking forward to conversations with the HRTPO’s RPTTF regarding transit service in the area. 

10. Community Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) Update 

Mr. Roy Broughton reported that CTAC did not meet this past month. He requested that since CTAC has officially changed its name from the Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) to the Community Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), that this change be reflected in the next Agenda. 

11. Military Liaisons Updates 

Colonel Herbert Joliat of Joint Langley Eustis had no comments. 

Captain Rick Wester of the U.S. Coast Guard reported that the Coast Guard has advised mariners of the geotechnical boring operations occurring at the HRBT 24-7 until February 28, 2018. He stated that maintenance on the James River Bridge is complete with openings now back on schedule. He noted that the Swamp Canal, damaged by Hurricane Matthew last year, has re-opened. Captain Wester referred back to Mr. Chope’s comments regarding the widening of the Norfolk Harbor and stated that the deepening will also assist coal ships, as with the deeper channel, more coal can be loaded unto the vessels. He commented that the Coast Guard is also advising mariners of the altered operating schedule for the I-64 High-Rise Bridge due to maintenance. 

Commander Susanne Weinrich of the U.S. Navy had no comments. 

12. 2017 Audited Financial Statements: Michael Garber, PBMares  

Mr. Michael Garber, Partner, PBMares, briefed the Board on the annual review of the financial statements of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC). He stated that there were no material weaknesses or deficiencies identified in any of the internal controls or processes of the financial activity, and all information was free of any material misstatements. 

Mr. Michael Hipple, Joint HRPDC and HRTPO Personnel and Budget (P&B) Committee member, stated that P&B accepted the 2017 Audited Financial Statements. 

This item was included in the meeting agenda for approval under Item #19-C. 

13. HRTAC 2040 Long-Range Plan of Finance Update: Kevin Page, HRTAC 

Mr. Kevin Page, HRTAC Executive Director, briefed the HRTPO Board on the HRTAC-adopted 2040 Long-Range Plan of Finance update for the Regional Priority Projects that occurred on September 21, 2017. 

14. Proposed 2040 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Amendment: Dale Stith, HRTPO 

Ms. Dale Stith, HRTPO Principal Transportation Planner, briefed the Board on the proposed 2040 LRTP Amendment that was triggered by the update to the HRTAC Long-Range Plan of Finance for the Regional Priority Projects. She stated that the proposed amendment to the 2040 LRTP reflects updated cost estimates and opening year information for multiple Regional Priority Projects and the associated revenue forecast to fiscally-constrain these projects – reflecting updated revenue assumptions received from both the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC). She noted that with this amendment, the total updated project cost estimate for all Regional Priority Projects to be fiscally-constrained with the HRTAC funding plan is $8.48 billion, less than the updated long-range HRTAC revenue forecast of $8.56 billion. 

This item was included in the meeting agenda for approval under Item #19-D. 

15. Moving the Economy: How Well the Transportation System of Hampton Roads Serves Three Key Economic Sectors – Port, Military, and Hospitality: Rob Case, HRTPO 

Dr. Rob Case briefed the HRTPO Board on the Moving the Economy: How Well the Transportation Systems of Hampton Roads Serves Three Key Economic Sectors – Port, Military, and Hospitality report. Dr. Case reviewed the measures that were used to compare various ports and hospitality transport services along the east coast; however, the military sector was not discussed due to its sensitive matter and HRTPO staff has placed this information in an internal performance memo reviewed by a technical panel. 

This item was included in the meeting agenda for approval under Item #19-E. 


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

A Citizen from Portsmouth expressed concern regarding the allocation of tax dollars at various governmental levels. 

A Citizen from Newport News expressed concern that the HOT Express Lanes will disadvantage low-income earners. 

17. Submitted Public Comments 

There were no submitted public comments in the agenda packet. 

18. Transcribed Public Comments From Previous HRTPO Meeting 

This item was for informational purposes. 


19. Approval of Consent Items 

The HRTPO Board unanimously approved the Consent Agenda items. 


20. HRTPO Board Three-Month Tentative Schedule 

This item was for informational purposes. 

21. Correspondence of Interest 

This item was for informational purposes. 

22. Minutes of HRTPO Committee Meetings 

This item was for informational purposes. 

23. For Your Information 

This item was for informational purposes. 

24. Old/New Business 

There was no old/new business. 


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