RD653 - Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability Relating to the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund
Item 1.O. of Chapter 552 of the 2021 Reconvened Special Session 1 of the General Assembly included the requirement that the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability shall regularly review, and provide oversight of the usage of funding generated pursuant to the provisions of House Bill 2313, 2013 Session of the General Assembly. To this end, The Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability shall regularly review, and provide oversight of the usage of funding generated pursuant to the provisions of House Bill 2313, 2013 Session of the General Assembly. To this end, by November 15 the Director of Rail and Public Transportation, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission shall each prepare a report on the uses of Commonwealth Rail Fund, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Fund, and the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund, respectively, each year to be presented to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability.
During FY2021, the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (‘HRTAC’) took actions and executed project agreements or project amendments with the Virginia Department of Transportation (‘VDOT’) to advance project readiness and to provide financing and project delivery. During the fiscal year, HRTAC issued its FY2021 through FY2026 Funding Plan Update and its Long-Range Funding Plan through FY2045, further advanced project development and construction with VDOT of over $5.5 billion total value projects supported by the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund (‘HRTF’) and advanced project agreements with the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (Hampton Roads Transit) supported by the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Fund (‘HRRTF’). During FY2021, HRTAC issued a HRTF backed bond sale and continued negotiations with the United States Department of Transportation (‘USDOT’) Build America Bureau for two federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (‘TIFIA’) loans to support funding commitments to the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion Project. HRTAC continued negotiations with the USDOT Build America Bureau to refinance the 2019 TIFIA loan to a lower interest rate. The major work activity of FY2021 was relating to the continued execution of the Commission’s debt financing and funding plan for HRTF supported projects, administration of the Master Tolling Agreement for the Hampton Roads Express Lanes Network (‘HRELN’), development and adoption of the HRELN Initial Tolling Policy, and the administration of the first funding year of the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Fund and Program. Of the total HRTF and toll revenue supported project costs under agreement, $4.7 billion is sourced by HRTAC controlled monies. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s SMART SCALE Program has provided approximately $463.8 million toward HRTAC projects including the I-64 Peninsula Widening, the I-64 Southside Widening/High Rise Bridge Phase I, the I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvements (Phase II) and the HRBT Expansion Project. Figure 1 provides a graphic showing the locations and the activities of the HRTAC HRTF and toll revenue funded projects. HRTAC does not allow balances to sit on projects that will not fully utilize the allocated funds in a timely manner. VDOT and HRTAC work together to identify projects that could release project contingency funds or allocations deemed surplus to allow other projects to advance.
Legislative actions in the 2021 session of the General Assembly that impacted HRTAC included the following state budget language (HB 1800, Chapter 552, Item 447.1, B. 3 and HB 1800, Chapter 552, Item 447.1, F.):
"B. 3. Up to $93,100,000 shall be transferred to Item 447 for improvements to the Interstate 64 Corridor as follows: (i) to provide any amounts necessary to complete the funding plan for the Hampton Roads Express Lanes as identified in the Master Agreement for Development and Tolling of the Hampton Roads Express Lanes Network executed pursuant to Chapter 703 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly, and (ii) any remaining amounts to improve Interstate 64 between exit 205 and exit 234 as determined by the Commonwealth Transportation Board."
"F. For amounts available pursuant to subsection B.3. of this item, the Board shall not distribute any funds for the Hampton Roads Express Lanes Network until updated traffic and revenue modeling considering summer weekend traffic volumes is completed and the amount necessary to complete the funding plan, if any, is determined by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission in coordination with the Board. In the event that funds are available to improve the Interstate 64 corridor between exit 205 and exit 234, the Board shall coordinate with the Central Virginia Transportation Authority to determine whether there is an opportunity to partner with the Authority on such improvements."