Monday, February 3, 2020

Governor, Legislators Plan to Improve Driver Safety, Modernize Transportation System

Governor Ralph Northam and legislative leaders today announced support for a comprehensive transportation package that will improve driver and pedestrian safety and modernize funding for transit, rail, and roads.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw joined the Governor for the announcement, along with House Transportation Committee Chair Delores McQuinn and Senate Transportation Committee Chair David Marsden. The measures are outlined in House Bill 1414 (Filler-Corn) and Senate Bill 890 (Saslaw).

“Virginians should be able to get to work or to school safely, without sitting in traffic,” said Governor Northam. “This bold package will reduce congestion, transform transit and rail service, and support economic growth across Virginia. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly to pass it into law.”

This landmark transportation package will make roads safer by establishing a Virginia Highway Safety Improvement Program and implementing a number of proven safety policies. These measures include prohibiting the use of handheld cell phones while driving, banning open containers of alcohol in vehicles, making failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense, enhancing speed enforcement, and allowing localities to lower speed limits. Combined, they are expected to save more than 120 lives a year.

“In November, Virginians overwhelmingly demanded we take swift, decisive action that improves their lives,” said Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn. “I am excited to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the General Assembly to pass this legislation that will make our roads safer, commutes shorter, and transform passenger and commuter rail in the Commonwealth.”

Despite Virginians driving more than ever, revenues from motor fuel taxes have continued to drop. This legislation modernizes Virginia’s transportation funding model by cutting vehicle registration fees in half, raising the gas tax, and indexing it to inflation. New revenues will build a sustainable transportation system over the next decade and will be distributed through a new streamlined funding mechanism that supports a multimodal network.

“We know we can’t pave our way out of congestion,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. “This bill will ensure we are using taxpayer money efficiently, will save Virginians’ time, and will enhance infrastructure options for moving people and goods throughout the Commonwealth. This measure is long overdue and a much needed path forward to addressing Virginia’s transportation challenges.”

This proposal also includes measures to dramatically transform Virginia’s transit and rail systems. It establishes the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to promote and expand passenger and commuter rail service across the Commonwealth. In coordination with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the legislation authorizes the use of bonds to assist with the construction of a new rail Long Bridge across the Potomac River, increasing capacity for passenger, commuter and freight trains, and reducing congestion. The package also establishes a Transit Incentive Program, which will promote improved transit service, support regional routes, and reduce barriers to transit use by low-income individuals.

“This legislation is the foundation for a true multimodal transportation system,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “By building a sustainable funding bridge to the future, Virginia is making a bold investment in safe, reliable travel options that create mobility for all Virginians.”

The legislation also includes funding to support:
  • Smart Scale, the data-driven model for new capacity transportation projects;
  • Interstates, secondary and city streets to meet safety and performance targets;
  • Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, to help restore funding for regional priorities;
  • I-81 Debt Authorization to accelerate $2 billion program of projects; and
  • Matching Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) funds for WMATA
  • Critical or Special bridges and tunnels

Additional information on the Governor’s full transportation package is available here.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Public Invited To Meetings On Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Plan

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), supported by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), will study Interstate 95 (I-95) to initiate a data-driven study to develop the I-95 Corridor Plan which will (i) identify key problem areas along the corridor, and (ii) identify potential solutions and areas for additional review and study.
As directed in Senate Joint Resolution 276 and House Joint Resolution 581 during the 2019 General Assembly, the study team will identify targeted improvements and incident management strategies for the corridor.

Interim I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan

Public Briefings

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will receive briefings during the study time frame.

Public Involvement

Attend a meeting:
You are invited to the final series of meetings, which will be focused on reviewing results of the study’s findings, which include development of a corridor-wide operations and arterial roadway upgrade plan for implementation. Locations requiring additional study have also been identified. The meetings will include a brief presentation followed by an open house, which will allow attendees to speak one-on-one with study team members.Feedback provided by members of communities, industries, and other stakeholders are being considered as team members finalize the study and prepare a draft plan. The CTB plans to report the study’s findings to the General Assembly during the 2020 General Assembly session. 
Public meetings will be held at the below-listed dates and times at the noted locations.
Monday, January 27, 2020
Fredericksburg*
Fredericksburg District Auditorium
87 Deacon Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

6-8 p.m.

*Presentation from 7:30-8 p.m. as part of Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization public meeting, held at same location. VDOT staff will be available 6-8 p.m. to review plan materials and answer questions.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Northern Virginia**
South County Middle School
8700 Laurel Crest Drive
Lorton, VA 22079

6-8 p.m.

**Presentation will be held near the beginning of the meeting.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Richmond/Hampton Roads**
Hilton Garden Inn Richmond South/Southpark
800 Southpark Boulevard
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

5-7 p.m.

**Presentation will be held near the beginning of the meeting.


Any questions or comments can be submitted via email to: VA95corridorplan@vdot.virginia.gov.
Meeting materials will be posted beginning January 27, 2020.

Next Steps:

Prior to full finalization of the Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Plan, the study team will also conduct a study of Interstate 64 in the summer of 2020. Once complete, the study team will present a listing of prioritized capital projects for both interstate corridors to the CTB for its consideration in determining potential allocations from available funding sources. Following the prioritization, the Interim I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan will be finalized and presented to the CTB for action. 

Meeting Materials:

Third Series

  • Coming soon!

Second Series

Corridor-Wide Improvement Strategies:
Northern Virginia District:
Richmond District:
Fredericksburg District:
Richmond District:
Hampton Roads District:

First Series

General Information Along Corridor:
Review the below materials specific to the locations that affect you.
Northern Virginia District:
Fredericksburg District:
Richmond District:
  • <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1S6Xa4MBIpSCW4PXNMPaldoBh

Thursday, January 23, 2020

FHWA Awards $8 Million to 10 States for Innovative Highway Projects

WASHINGTON – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced more than $8 million in Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration program grants to state departments of transportation (DOTs) and local governments in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and North Dakota.  The grants will help deliver bridge projects sooner, improve traffic management, and accelerate the use of innovative tools and technologies.

“These funds will help support our state and local partners across the country in their efforts to deliver more resilient roads, bridges and highways for the traveling public,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason.  “The grants being awarded today will help advance innovative transportation solutions to improve safety and mobility on America’s roadways.”

Since the launch of the AID Demonstration in February 2014, and including the grants announced today, FHWA officials have awarded more than $74 million for 102 grants to help federal land management agencies, tribal governments, state DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governments accelerate the use of innovative practices and improve safety.  The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, for example, is using a $1 million grant awarded in Fiscal Year 2017 to help pay for its first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI).  That project will demolish the existing SH-6 bridges over I-40, replace them with the DDI, and create a safer intersection in Elk City.

FY 2019 Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration Program Grants

Agency
Amount
Project Description
Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and Baldwin County Highway Department
$1,000,000
ALDOT and Baldwin County will employ two innovations – Accelerated Bridge Construction and Next Beam Ultra High-Performance Concrete Retrofit – to shorten construction time from 14 weeks to six weeks for bridge retrofit projects.
Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT)
$313,600
ArDOT will use 3D Modeling and e-Construction, two innovations supported by FHWA, to enhance the use of Global Navigation Satellite System technology in the engineering and construction phases of projects.
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
$800,000
CDOT will utilize Snow Plow Signal Priority to improve traffic flow during and after snow removal.
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and City of Orlando
$998,216
FDOT will use its grant to improve traffic signalization at intersections in sections of Orlando.  A pilot demonstration that the grant will help fund is part of a larger project being undertaken to intelligently manage transportation flows around Orlando’s downtown area.
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and City of Jerseyville
$1,000,000
IDOT will employ an innovative material known as compacted concrete pavement to improve roadway surface conditions on Hollow Avenue in Jerseyville.
Iowa Department of Transportation and City of Dubuque
$998,000
The Iowa Department of Transportation and the City of Dubuque’s Smart Traffic Routing with Efficient and Effective Traffic Signals project will benefit from an AID grant that can help develop a smart, next-generation traffic management and control system that will ultimately link 11 corridors and allow them to act as one integrated system.

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
$1,000,000
MDOT will employ two innovations – Accelerated Bridge Construction and Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) – to reduce the number of potential delays caused by traffic during construction of the 2nd Avenue Network Arch Superstructure project.
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the City of Winona
$1,000,000
MnDOT will use this grant for an innovative road project to improve safety, mobility, and access for drivers and bicyclists along Broadway Avenue in the City of Winona.
New York State Department of Transportation
(NYSDOT)
$740,000
NYSDOT will use its grant to improve traffic incident management on a region-wide basis.
North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT)
$241,687
NDDOT is using its grant to deploy a robot-driven crash truck known as an “autonomous attenuator” that can protect workers from traffic when doing routine maintenance activities.
TOTAL
$8,091,503


For more information about these grants, and FHWA’s AID demonstration program, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants.