HD5 - Executive Summary of the Joint Subcommittee to Study the Transportation Network of Hampton Roads (HJR 194, 2008; HJR 711, 2009)

    Executive Summary:
    The 2009 Session of the General Assembly acceded to the request of the Joint Subcommittee that its mandate be extended for a third year in order to specifically include consideration of (i) extension of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) to connect the Peninsula to Terminal Boulevard and (ii) widening of Interstate Route 64 on the Peninsula between Interstate Route 664 in Hampton and Interstate 295 east of Richmond.

    When the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) began seeking to prioritize proposed transportation improvement projects for the region, the Chairman and other members of the Joint Subcommittee had discussions with the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) about the possibility of developing a list of transportation metrics for assessing network benefits for the six proposed projects (widening of I-64 on the Peninsula; construction of the Third Crossing between the Peninsula and Southside Hampton Roads; the Southeast Parkway/Dominion Project from Virginia Beach to Chesapeake; widening I-64 in Southside from Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake to Bowers Hill in Suffolk; widening the Midtown Tunnel and extending the MLK Freeway to I-264; and improving US 460) and improvements to HRBT, with the goal of providing for an objective analysis that allows comparing each of the assessed alternatives.

    At a meeting on November 10, 2009, the Joint Subcommittee heard a major presentation by Mr. Mike Robinson, VMASC's Senior Project Scientist who explained to the members which metrics would most likely be employed in VMASC's analysis and presented a draft time line for the project: December 1, 2009: official project start; February 10, 2010: briefing on proposed metrics; May 2010: accident-incident forecast complete; August 2010: peak-hour matrix complete; September 2010: congestion analysis; October 2010: accident-incident predictions integrated into model; and December 2010: final report.

    After a general discussion, it was agreed that the Chairman would offer legislation during the 2010 Session of the General Assembly to extend the Joint Subcommittee's mandate for an additional year in order to monitor VMASC's work and its impact on the Hampton Roads MPO's transportation project priorities.

    Legislation extending the mandate of the Joint Subcommittee, accordingly, will be offered during the 2010 Session, and, the Joint Subcommittee does not intend to submit to the 2010 Session of the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document.