Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2006

HJR 75: U.S. Route 460 Communication Committee

November 1, 2006

The meeting of the U.S. Route 460 Communications Committee, chaired by Delegate Wardrup, was held on November 1, 2006, at the Virginia Department of Transportation, Hampton Roads Construction District Headquarters, in Suffolk.

Preferred Route and Proposals

Richard Walton of the Department of Transportation (VDOT) provided the members with additional background on the selection of preferred alignment of the route by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), as well as an updated briefing on proposals received for the U.S. Route 460 Project.

There were questions from the members regarding CTB's decision preferring an alignment that left railway rights-of-way between the proposed alignment and existing communities in the corridor. Mr. Walton explained that costs associated with providing railroad crossings connecting these communities with the proposed new facility had not been considered part of the proposed project. He also discussed with the members the purpose of planning and designing corridors and provided the committee with cost projections for the project.

Three proposals for the U.S. Route 460 project submitted to VDOT under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (PPTA) were discussed in detail. Construction of the project would involve a sharing of costs between the public and private sector, with a toll rate consistent with the findings of an earlier toll-feasibility study for the corridor and a discounted toll rate for residents within the corridor. Mr. Walton pointed out that at least one of the three proposals involved tolling of facilities presently not subject to tolls and that a lack of tolls would increase the public costs of the project.

The next step in the process would be appointment of an advisory committee by the Secretary of Transportation to hear from the proposers, VDOT staff, and the public, before making a final recommendation.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Mr. Walton also spoke to the role of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in highway construction planning.

Arthur Collins, Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and a member of the committee spoke on the specifics of the Hampton Roads MPO.

Mayor of Norfolk, Paul D. Fraim, who is also the chair of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, spoke on the rationale for the decision by the Hampton Roads MPO to defer the U.S. Route 460 project. The MPO felt it could not move forward with the project without specific assurances of additional revenues from the Commonwealth sufficient to comply with federal requirements that the MPO's transportation improvement be fully "fiscally constrained."

Several members suggested that the MPO's estimate of the maximum amount of toll that could optimally be imposed for use of an improved U.S. Route 460 facility might be too conservative, and that it would be helpful if both VDOT and the MPO maintained closer and more informative contacts with the committee and the General Assembly in the future.

Mayor Fraim assured the members that, as the consideration and refinement of the proposals for the U.S. Route 460 project move forward, the MPO could amend its transportation improvement plan to include improvements in the U.S. Route 460 corridor.

Next Meeting

When the date of the next meeting of the U.S. Route 460 Communications Committee is scheduled, information will be posted on the General Assembly website.

The Hon. Leo C. Wardrup, Jr.

For information, contact:
Alan Wambold and Stephanie Bishop, DLS Staff


Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2006

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