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HRPDC, HRTPO Hold Legislative Workshop with Hampton Roads Caucus

HRPDC, HRTPO Hold Legislative Workshop with Hampton Roads Caucus

On August 29, 2018, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) and Hampton Roads Caucus held a legislative workshop at the Regional Building to discuss potential legislative items for the upcoming General Assembly session.  Over 130 Commission and Board members, General Assembly members, legislative liaisons, planning directors and other officials attended and participated in this workshop, which was held in the Regional Board Room of the HRPDC offices.  Items discussed during this Legislative Workshop included the following:

  • An overview and status report on Hampton Roads Transportation Projects that were prioritized by the HRTPO and are being funded through the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC).
  • An overview of potential HRTPO Legislative Priorities, including the following:
    • The need for significant Federal and State funding for the $3.6 Billion Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) project.  The project is currently funded entirely with regional tax dollars through the HRTAC and Hampton Roads Transportation Fund (HRTF).  Due to the importance of this facility to the military, national security, the Port of Virginia and the east coast economy, the HRTPO believes the State and Federal government should join in the funding of this project.
    • Support for efforts that promote higher speed passenger rail service between Hampton Roads and Richmond.
    • Support for Federal/State funding for the widening of I-64 between Hampton Roads and Richmond.  Request consideration in future SMART SCALE funding cycles to avoid competition with the HRBT project.
    • Increase funding to the Virginia SMART SCALE Program

  • An overview of the July 20, 2017 HRTPO Resolution related to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes.  In this resolution, the HRTPO endorsed:
    • An interconnected HOT Network system from the I-64/I-664 interchange in Hampton through the HRBT project and continuing along I-64 through the High Rise Bridge and ending at the Bowers Hill Interchange in Chesapeake.
    • Revenues generated from the I-64 HOT Regional Express Network be returned to HRTAC for its use along the corridor in accordance with Federal/State regulations.

  • It was noted that the HRTPO has not endorsed the implementation of HOT lanes west of the I-64/I-664 interchange in Hampton.
  • A discussion occurred on whether the region should consider the use of a full time dynamic toll for all vehicles using the new express lanes included in the HRBT project instead of making the additional lanes HOT lanes.
  • A conversation stressing that HRTF funds should only be used to fund the addition of new capacity in accordance with the Code of Virginia.
  • An overview of potential HRPDC Legislative Priorities, including the following:
  • Pursuit of Federal/State funding for recurrent flooding/sea level rise projects, particularly those projects that protect the mission of our region’s military installations.  Discussion occurred regarding the ongoing Joint Land Use Studies (JLUS) being advanced in the region, and the recommended projects that will emerge from these studies which will address the impact of coastal storms and sea level rise on essential military operations.  A partnership of Local/State and Federal funding will be needed to advance the top rated projects emerging from these JLUS efforts.
  • Support State funding for the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund and the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.
  • Consider new State funding sources to address Chesapeake Bay nutrient reduction requirements.
  • Continuation of efforts to provide increased state funding for K-12 public education.
  • Support appropriate funding of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund for housing programs and projects that preserve and produce affordable housing opportunities.
  • Other potential topics that the HRPDC would like to discuss with Hampton Roads Caucus members include:
    • Tax Reform
    • Proffers
    • Broadband
  • Admiral Craig Quigley, Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance (HRMFFA), provided an overview of the On-Land Wind Energy Siting Process and recommended legislation that called for coordination with the Department of Defense through this process.
  • Hampton Roads Caucus members participated in a roundtable information exchange, noting other items of interest leading up the 2019 General Assembly session.