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Action Summary HRTPO Board Meeting October 18, 2018

Action Summary HRTPO Board Meeting October 18, 2018

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

1.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by the Chair at 10:30 a.m.

Chair Thomas Shepperd introduced Mr. Morteza Farajian, Interim Deputy Secretary of Transportation, and Mr. Stephen Brich, VDOT Commissioner of Highways as guests of the HRTPO.

2.  Election of HRTPO Board Officers

Mayor Kenneth Alexander, Nominating Committee Chair, announced the recommendations of the Committee as follows: Mr. Thomas Shepperd for HRTPO Chair, Mayor John Rowe for HRTPO Vice-Chair, and Mr. Robert Crum for HRTPO Secretary.  The floor was then open for other nominations and there were none.

The HRTPO Board unanimously elected the nominated individuals to the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary as recommended by the Nominating Committee.

3.  Approval of Agenda

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 of the following:

  • HRTPO staff continues to work with Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA), and Suffolk Transit, in the coordination of regional transit planning efforts.

5.  Employee Recognition

Mr. Robert Crum recognized the following employees for their outstanding service to the HRTPO:

  • Dr. Robert Case, Chief Transportation Engineer – 25 years
  • Mr. Joe Paulus, Special Transportation Advisor – 50 years


6.  Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Members Update

Mr. John Malbon stated the CTB’s next meeting will be October 29, 2018 in Norfolk at the Governor’s Transportation Conference.  He reported that, at its last meeting, the CTB discussed the construction labor shortage which has been challenging in light of the many transportation projects currently underway in the area.

7.  Virginia Department of Transportation Update

Mr. Christopher Hall stated that the October 2018 HRTAC Program Development Monthly Executive Report was included at the table as a handout.  He indicated that all major projects are progressing on schedule and within budget.  Work is underway on both Segments II and III of the I-64 Peninsula Widening project, including pavement rehabilitation on Segment II and shoulder strengthening on Segment III.  Sound wall construction has started, along with continued bridge deck efforts, for the I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvements Phase I project, with site work activities beginning on Phase II.  Finally, the contractor is mobilizing efforts in order to begin construction on the I-64 Southside Widening and High Rise Bridge – Phase I project with the issuance of the river permit expected by the end of the month.

8.  Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Update

Ms. Jennifer DeBruhl provided an update on the implementation of the transit reform package that was passed earlier this year by the General Assembly and stated the Capital Prioritization Process and Strategic Guidelines are both in the midst of public review with CTB approval anticipated at the end of this month.  DRPT is currently preparing for its 2020 Grant Application cycle and will apply the new prioritization process in order to make efficient and responsible investments in transit.

9.  Virginia Port Authority Update

There was no representative in attendance for the Virginia Port Authority.

10. HRT and WATA Updates

Mr. William Harrell stated that, in conjunction with the Governor’s Transportation Conference, on November 1st, HRT will hold a kickoff for its Strategic Planning effort at the Slover Library in Norfolk at 1:30 p.m.  He indicated that HRT is taking a blank-slate approach to this effort, erasing all routes in order to serve economic development in the region by improving transit for the over 60% of riders who utilize public transportation for work and school.  He noted that HRT plans to coordinate its efforts with both WATA and Suffolk Transit to work cohesively as a region.  He stated HRT received a $2.2 million grant, one of the largest federal grants in the nation, to study battery-powered electric buses.

Mr. Zach Trogdon reported WATA will be meeting with HRT regarding HRT's Strategic Planning effort.  He also reported that WATA is operating well even with the area’s aftereffects of Hurricane Michael.

11. Community Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) Update

Ms. Teresa Danaher reported that CTAC held its quarterly meeting this month and requested assistance from the localities in order to fill the vacancies on the Committee.  She noted the application process is initiated online and stated any questions regarding membership should be directed to Ms. Kendall Miller, HRTPO Principal Lead, Office of Community Affairs and Civil Rights.

12. Military Liaisons Updates

Ms. Jerree Grimes, representing Joint Langley-Eustis, had no comments.

Captain Michael Moore of the U.S. Navy had no comments.

13. HRTAC Finance Plan: Kevin Page, HRTAC

Mr. Kevin Page, HRTAC Executive Director, reported that HRTAC, utilizing assumptions based on the best information available, developed its FY 2019-2024 Finance Plan and 2045 Long-Range Plan of Finance which were adopted on June 21, 2018.  He indicated that, as with other HRTAC projects with VDOT, no anticipated SMART SCALE funding is included for the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion project at this time.  He noted that HRTAC’s approved finance plans include all net toll revenues being used to support HRTAC projects. 

Mr. Page stated that HRTAC allocated $25 million to VDOT in March 2017 for refinement of the HRCS Preferred Alternative (HRBT Expansion project), with an additional $5 million slated for approval in November 2018.  He also stated that the project’s construction planning-level funding estimate is $3.662 billion YOE (Year of Expenditure) 2024 delivery, with bridge trestle replacement now part of the base scope.  He presented the current map of the VDOT Proposed Hampton Roads Express Lanes Network and noted that the tolled sections must be agreed upon with VDOT in order to continue with funding assumptions.

14. I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project and I-64 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Regional Express Lanes Concept: Robert Crum, HRTPO

Mr. Robert Crum, HRTPO Executive Director, briefed the HRTPO Board on the following HRBT policy considerations to be discussed by Board members:

  • Reaffirm HRBT as the Region’s top transportation priority
  • I-64 Regional Express Lanes Network begins at I-64/Settlers Landing Interchange in Hampton, through the HRBT project  and continue along I-64 through the High Rise Bridge project to Bowers Hill
  • No general purpose lanes shall be converted to HOV or HOT lanes
  • No HOT lanes west of I-64/Settlers Landing
  • Existing Trestles – the HRTF should only be used to fund new construction projects and not to fund the rehabilitation or replacement of existing infrastructure
  • All revenues generated by HOT lanes returned to HRTAC

During discussion of these issues, Board members noted that the Traffic and Revenue Study and Operational Analysis should be used to determine the exact terminus of the Express Lane Network, particularly between the High-Rise Bridge and Bowers Hill in Chesapeake and between the Settlers Landing Road and I-664 interchanges in Hampton. Several Board members also indicated they are open to considering a phased or segmented implementation of the Express Lane Network, including the possibility that Phase I of implementation of the Network may only include HOT lanes at the HRBT and High-Rise Bridge facilities. 

After further discussion, Mr. Crum stated that HRTPO staff will draft a resolution, based on today’s dialogue, for consideration by Board members at the November 15, 2018 meeting.  He also stated that, at the November meeting, Board members will benefit from additional knowledge of the following:

  • Results from the Traffic and Revenue Study regarding the HOT Lanes Express Network
  • Advice from HRTAC Legal Counsel regarding the Code of Virginia and whether HRTF Funds can be used to rehabilitate the HRBT trestles

Mr. Morteza Farajian, Interim Deputy Secretary of Transportation, stated it was Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine’s desire to work collaboratively with the region to complete all necessary studies and to provide knowledge to Board members.

Mr. Stephen Brich, VDOT Commission of Highways, stated the HRBT Expansion project will progress on time as long as the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) Amendment is processed in a timely manner.  He noted that a contingency is included in the budget and that some amount of the HRTF allocations may be returned to HRTAC upon completion of Scope Validation.

15. Economic Impact of Tolls on Portsmouth:  Dr. James Koch, ODU

Due to time constraints, this topic was deferred to a future HRTPO Board meeting.

16. MAP 21/FAST Act Regional Performance Measures and Targets: Keith Nichols, HRTPO

Mr. Keith Nichols, HRTPO Principal Transportation Engineer, briefed the HRTPO Board on the MAP 21/FAST Act Regional Performance Measures and Targets.  Recent federal legislation established that States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations will be required to prepare and approve initial targets by November 14, 2018.

This item was included in the meeting agenda for approval under Item #20-H.


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

A citizen from Newport News discussed the I-64 HRBT Expansion project. 

18. Submitted Public Comments

There were no submitted public comments in the agenda packet.

19. Transcribed Public Comments From Previous HRTPO Meeting

This item was for informational purposes.


20. Approval of Consent Items

The HRTPOBoard unanimously approved the Consent Agenda items as written.


21. HRTPO Board Three-Month Tentative Schedule

This item was for informational purposes.

22. Correspondence of Interest

This item was for informational purposes.

23. Minutes of HRTPO Committee Meetings

This item was for informational purposes.

24. For Your Information

This item was for informational purposes.

25. Old/New Business

There was no Old/New Business.


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