Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2008

HJR 194: Transportation Network of Hampton Roads

December 10, 2008

The joint subcommittee met at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center in Suffolk with Chairman S. Chris Jones presiding.


Mike Robinson, Senior Project Scientist, Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) presented the final report of VMASC's Hampton Roads Alternatives Project. The Project concentrated on six alternatives recommended by the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) as follows:

  • Construction of a Third Crossing between the Peninsula and Southside Hampton Roads (in two phases).
  • Construction of the Southeastern Parkway/Dominion Boulevard project linking Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
  • Widening the Midtown Tunnel to four lanes (two in each direction) and extending the Martin Luther King Freeway (four lanes) to connect to Interstate Route 264.
  • Improving U.S. Route 460 between Suffolk and Interstate Route 295 near Petersburg, including the eventual construction of a new facility paralleling the present route.
  • Widening Interstate Route 64 on the Peninsula as far west as Virginia Route 199 near Williamsburg.
    Widening Interstate Route 64 on Southside Hampton Roads between Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake and Bowers Hill in Suffolk.
  • At the request of the Joint Subcommittee, VMASC also modeled the congestion impacts that would result from expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT).

The project compared data from 2000 with 2030 projections using both a "no build" scenario that assumes that none of the seven projects would be built and an "all build" scenario that assumes that all of the projects would be built.

The study demonstrated that failure to build any of the proposed improvements would result in peak traffic demand almost double the available capacity of key transportation corridors, especially during the tourist season. VMASC's efforts indicated that the six projects approved by the MPO would provide marginal improvement to recurring congestion at the HRBT. The greatest benefit would be brought about by the construction of the Third Crossing (both phases), which would reduce demand on the HRBT. As expected, the greatest improvement at the HRBT occurs if this facility is expanded, but even this improvement leaves significant recurrent congestion during peak use periods. If the HRBT is widened to eight lanes, analysis indicates that the facility will be able to discharge peak demand in 2030. Such an expansion would also reduce incident-induced congestion and improve travel times.


Following a discussion, Delegate Oder moved that legislation be offered in the 2009 Session to extend the joint subcommittee's mandate for an additional year, and that this further study specifically include consideration of extension of the HRBT to connect the Peninsula to Terminal Boulevard and widening of Interstate Route 64 on the Peninsula between Interstate Route 664 in Hampton and Interstate 295 east of Richmond. Several members of the audience also made suggestions for further items to be studied, including leveraging technology, increased use of transit, and traffic management strategies.

The Hon. S. Chris Jones

For information, contact:
Alan Wambold, Caroline Stalker , DLS Staff

Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2008

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