Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Public Feedback Invited On Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan

RICHMOND, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation are developing a plan to study the entire length of the Interstate 81 corridor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As directed in Senate Bill 971 (now 2018 Acts of Assembly Chapter 743), the study team will identify targeted improvements along I-81 and potential revenue sources that could be dedicated to improvements. SB 971 was introduced by Senators Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico, and supported by Delegate Steve Landes with budget language in the House of Delegates budget bill. 
Feedback provided by members of communities, industries and other stakeholders will be considered as team members study the corridor throughout the summer and prepare a draft plan report in the fall. The team and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) plan to report findings to the General Assembly in December, prior to the opening of Session in January 2019. 
The public is invited to attend the first of a series of meetings planned and provide input to the study team as work progresses. The purpose of this first series of meetings is to gather public input on safety and congestion concerns on I-81 in Virginia.
The public meetings will be held from 4-7 p.m. on the below-listed dates at the noted locations. Presentations will be held at the beginning of each meeting at 4 p.m. followed by an open house through 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 6, 2018Bristol DistrictSouthwest Higher Education Center One Partnership Cir
Abingdon, VA 24210
Tuesday, June 12, 2018Staunton District (north)Strasburg High School
250 Ram DriveStrasburg, VA 22657
Wednesday, June 13, 2018Staunton District (south)Blue Ridge Community College
Plecker Center for Continuing Education
One College Lane
Weyers Cave, VA 24486
Thursday, June 14, 2018Salem DistrictHoliday Inn Valley View
3315 Ordway Drive,Roanoke, VA 24017
 Comments will be accepted at the meeting or by contacting Ben Mannell, study manager, atVA81CorridorPlan@OIPI.Virginia.gov or by mail to 1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, Virginia 23219, or by phone at 804-786-2971. The first comment period will end July 31, 2018. Additional comment opportunities will be available throughout the study.
For more information about the study, or to view meeting materials, visit http://www.VA81Corridor.org. For additional information about the CTB, visit http://www.CTB.Virginia.gov/.

Monday, June 4, 2018

VDOT Releases Draft Request For Proposals For New Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Transportation today released the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project. The draft RFP contains instructions to short-listed firms for developing individual approaches to best deliver the HRBT Expansion Project as a design-build contract under the Public-Private Transportation Act. The Draft RFP is available to short-listed firms and the public for comment at www.p3virginia.org/projects/hampton-roads-bridge-tunnel-2/
The release of the draft RFP follows the May 9, 2018, Transportation Public-Private Partnership Steering Committee’s determination that the procurement approach serves public interest. The next procurement steps will involve reviewing potential alternative technical concepts during the summer and fall of 2018, issuance of the final RFP in fall 2018 and awarding the contract in early 2019. The project team anticipates receiving technical and financial proposals by the end of 2018 and selecting the winning proposer in early 2019. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and reach completion in 2024.
The HRBT Expansion Project will build a new bridge-tunnel adjacent to the existing HRBT, and widen the four-lane segments of I-64 in Hampton and Norfolk to ease daily congestion between the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads, a corridor vital to Virginia’s economy, military readiness and regional connectivity. Traffic on the HRBT’s existing four lanes exceeds 100,000 vehicles per day during peak summer traffic. The current project planning estimate is between $3.3 and $3.8 billion, which will be refined as the scope is more fully developed. The majority of project funding will be provided by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, with federal support and other public resources anticipated.
Once completed, the expanded HRBT will become part of a future regional network of Express Lanes, as presented to the Commonwealth Transportation Board in July 2017, with free lanes remaining available to all motorists at all times.
Further information about the HRBT Expansion Project is also available at: www.HRBTexpansion.org.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Director of Transportation Innovation and Launch of I-81 Corridor Study Announced

MARION, Virginia – Today, at the monthly meeting of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine announced the director of a newly created Office of Transportation Innovation and the launch of the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan. 
Secretary Valentine announced that Lynn J. McDaniel has been named director of the Office of Innovation within the Transportation secretariat, effective May 29. The new office will reside within the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI) and will focus on coordinating innovation among the commonwealth’s transportation agencies including Aviation, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), Virginia Space, the Virginia Port Authority, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Motor Vehicles. 
“We have chosen an exceptional leader to take the helm of this new initiative,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Lynn McDaniel’s strength in technology management and business development will allow her to integrate government and private sector strategies to solve transportation problems and expand business opportunities.”
The office will work across Virginia’s multimodal transportation system to identify opportunities, coordinate research, and create an entrepreneurial environment within the transportation sector. Its work will include Connected Corridors, Data Analytics, Integrated Applications, and Unmanned Systems that span space, land, water and aviation.
McDaniel most recently served in leadership positions with Advantus Strategies LLC, WorldView Solutions Inc., and Virginia Interactive LLC. Throughout her career, McDaniel managed corporate strategic relationships and spearheaded technologically-based business solutions.
“Transportation is at a critical juncture that will require nimble navigation of technology and innovation,” said Transportation Deputy Secretary Nicholas Donohue. “Lynn’s combination of experience and business acuity will ensure continued success and propel our efforts forward.”
During the meeting, the launch of the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan was presented to the board. As directed in Senate Bill 971, the CTB, supported by OIPI, VDOT and DRPT, will study I-81 to identify priorities along the 325 miles and potential revenue sources that could be dedicated to improvements. 
“This corridor is critical to the economic vitality of the Bristol, Salem and Staunton districts, and to our entire commonwealth,” said Secretary Valentine. “The study’s focus on safety, reliability and resiliency is vital to trucking, business and manufacturing sectors.” 
“The I-81 corridor serves nearly 12 million trucks per year, which make up 42 percent of all interstate truck traffic in Virginia,” said Transportation Deputy Secretary Donohue. “As such a significant component of Virginia’s economy, this is a solid investment to make.” 
SB 971 was introduced by senators Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico, and supported by Del. Steve Landes with budget language in the House of Delegates budget bill. The I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan will begin with public meetings to solicit community, industry and stakeholder feedback throughout the summer, with a draft plan report expected in the fall. The first public hearing will be in the Bristol District on June 6. The CTB plans to report its findings to the General Assembly in December, prior to the opening of session in January 2019.
The board also awarded a $21.3-million contract to Haymes Brothers Inc. of Chatham to design and build the two bridges that carry I-81 over Route 8, which includes ramp modifications at Exit 114, just south of the Christiansburg corporate limits. Project completion is expected in fall 2021.  
“The new bridges will replace those aging in this busy area,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “Approximately 37,000 vehicles travel over these bridges every day. By replacing these bridges now, we will capitalize on benefits that will accommodate the expected rise in traffic volumes - over 57,000 vehicles per day by the year 2040.”
Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies for Virginia's transportation system. The CTB allocates highway funding to specific projects, locates routes and provides funding for airports, seaports and public transportation.
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