Monday, April 29, 2019
RICHMOND – Today Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine announced important leadership changes within the Transportation Secretariat.
Effective Thursday, April 25, John W. Lawson has been appointed as acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Lawson has served as Chief Financial Officer for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) since 2010 and has worked for the agency since 1987. He is responsible for the leadership and execution of the agency’s financial planning, capital investment, fiscal management and tolling programs and was instrumental in establishing the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank and Virginia’s Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) program. Lawson received an associate degree of science and arts from Rappahannock Community College and a Bachelor of Accounting from Christopher Newport University, and is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute.
“John has been instrumental in managing several public-private partnership project procurements that are building a 21st-century transportation network and save the taxpayers money,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “His decades of financial expertise and 31 years with VDOT make him uniquely suited for this role.”
Laura Farmer, VDOT’s Financial Planning Division Administrator, will assume the role of the agency’s acting Chief Financial Officer. Farmer has served as VDOT’s Director of Financial Planning since 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Chowan University and a Master of Public Policy from the College of William and Mary.
“Laura’s steadfast leadership and experience with VDOT’s financial planning for the past fifteen years will serve her well in this role,” said Rob Cary, VDOT’s Chief Deputy Commissioner. “Her collaborative approach and strong knowledge base of innovative financing, revenue estimating and accounting will ensure continued sound stewardship of VDOT’s $5.5 billion annual budget.”
Morteza Farajian, Ph.D., acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, will be departing the Governor’s Office to take on a new role. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao recently appointed Farajian as the Executive Director of the Build America Bureau.
“Over the seven years Morteza has served the Commonwealth, he has negotiated deals that advance the Commonwealth’s policy to move the greatest number of people at the lowest possible cost,” said Secretary Valentine. “Virginia is now sharing his expertise with the entire country.”
Thursday, April 25, 2019
RICHMOND – Today, at the monthly meeting of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine announced the launch of the Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Plan.
The CTB, supported by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia State Police, will study Interstate 95 (I-95) to identify priorities as well as potential revenue sources that could be dedicated to improvements. Senate Joint Resolution 276 and House Joint Resolution 581 during the 2019 General Assembly direct the CTB to identify targeted improvements and incident management strategies for the corridor, as well as financing options for suggested projects.
“I-95 is one of the most complex transportation corridors in our Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This study creates an opportunity to examine the use and needs of I-95 with the goals of relieving congestion, increasing safety, and advancing Virginia’s economic competitiveness.”
The I-95 Corridor Study will begin with public meetings to solicit community, industry, and stakeholder feedback throughout the spring and summer, with a draft plan report expected in late fall. The first public meetings will be held in the Fredericksburg District on May 9 and in the Northern Virginia District on May 13. The CTB plans to report its findings to the General Assembly in December, prior to the start of the legislative session in January 2020.
The CTB also received updates from the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) on next steps anticipated for Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funds dedicated to replacing heavy and medium-duty polluting vehicles with cleaner vehicles.
Last October, Governor Northam announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia will invest $14 million, or 15 percent, of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to fund the deployment of all-electric transit buses across Virginia. Three transit systems have committed to converting all or a portion of their fleets to electric vehicles: Alexandria DASH, Blacksburg Transit, and Hampton Roads Transit. Staff-recommended projects in the Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP) include funding for vehicles and charging infrastructure. DRPT and the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS) are in the process of procuring electric transit vehicles under a statewide contract in order to streamline purchase and deployment of these critical assets. This allocation represents the first year of a three-year partnership between DRPT and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality intended to facilitate the conversion of the transit fleet to clean fuels.
In this month’s meeting, the CTB also approved one contract totaling $3.5 million. The design-build contract was awarded to Chemung Contracting Corporation of Mitchells for safety improvements in Fauquier County on Route 15/29 (Lee Highway) from approximately 0.63 miles south of the Prince William County line to the intersection of Route 215 (Vint Hill Road) in VDOT’s Culpeper District. This location has a significant crash history and consistently ranks as the top targeted safety need in the Culpeper District due to substandard stopping sight distance for northbound traffic. The project will cut two hills and regrade the northbound lanes to improve the sight distance on the approach to the Route 215 intersection. Completion is expected in fall 2019.
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.
For more information:
- Final bid results and projects: http://www.virginiadot.org/business/const/bidresults-list.asp
- CTB meetings, times and locations: http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/public_meetings/schedule_overview/default.asp
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Monday, April 22, 2019
RICHMOND, Va. – The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will host nine meetings across the Commonwealth and is inviting the public to share feedback on transportation projects that have been scored and recommended for funding, as well as other transportation initiatives. Members of the community may participate by attending public meetings or submitting comments online, by email, or by mail.
The public will have an opportunity to learn and share feedback about:
- The Draft FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), which allocates public funds to highway, road, bridge, rail, bicycle, pedestrian, public transportation, and transportation demand management projects. The Draft FY 2020-2025 SYIP identifies projects proposed for inclusion in the final program, which will be approved at the CTB’s June meeting. All federally eligible projects in the SYIP will be included in the federally required Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to document how Virginia will obligate its federal funds.
- Following Virginia’s third round of SMART SCALE, a data-driven project prioritization process that directs limited funding to the most critical transportation needs, the public can share feedback on projects that have been scored and recommended for funding. The third round of SMART SCALE garnered a record number of applications last fall. Projects are scored using the following factors: safety, congestion reduction, accessibility, land use, environmental quality, and economic development.
- Comments will also be accepted for projects valued over $25 million.
- VTrans, Virginia’s long-range, statewide, multimodal transportation plan, outlines a vision and goals for transportation in the Commonwealth. The plan will identify transportation investment priorities and guides transportation agencies’ strategies and programs. The VTrans open house will begin at 3 p.m. at each meeting location (except in Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg, which will begin at 5 p.m.).
Additionally, meetings in the Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg districts will include:
- A required joint meeting with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Virginia Railway Express, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (applies only to the meeting in the Northern Virginia District); and
- The I-95 Corridor Study, as requested by the General Assembly via similar resolutions in the 2019 Session (SJR 276 and HJR 581). The resolutions request the CTB to study the portion of the Interstate 95 corridor between the Thornburg interchange (Exit 118) and the Springfield interchange (Exit 170) and potential financing options for improvements thereof (applies to both meetings in the Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg districts).
The public meetings will begin at 4 p.m. in each of the locations except as noted below (a formal comment period will be held at each meeting):
Thursday, April 11, 2019Lynchburg District
Holiday Inn Lynchburg
601 Main Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Monday, April 15, 2019Hampton Roads District
Hampton Roads District Office Auditorium
7511 Burbage Drive
Suffolk, VA 23435
Monday, April 22, 2019Staunton District
Blue Ridge Community College
Plecker Center for Continuing Education
One College Lane
Weyers Cave, VA 24486
Tuesday, April 23, 2019Bristol District
Higher Education Center
One Partnership Circle
Abingdon, VA 24210
Thursday, April 25, 2019Richmond District
Richmond Marriott –Short Pump
4240 Dominion Boulevard
Glen Allen, VA 23060
Monday, May 6, 2019Culpeper District
Culpeper District Auditorium
1601 Orange Road
Culpeper, VA 22701
Tuesday, May 7, 2019Salem District
Holiday Inn Tanglewood
4468 Starkey Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
Thursday, May 9, 2019Fredericksburg District
James Monroe High School
2300 Washington Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
**meeting begins at 6 p.m.
Monday, May 13, 2019NOVA District
Northern Virginia District Office
Potomac Conference Room
4975 Alliance Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
**meeting begins at 6 p.m.
Meeting materials will be available at http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/planning/springmeetings/default.asp beginning April 11, 2019.
- Six-Year Improvement Program:
- VTrans: http://www.VTrans.org
You can also submit your comments via email or mail by May 27, 2019, to:
- For roads and highways: Six-YearProgram@VDOT.Virginia.govor Infrastructure Investment Director, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
- For transit and rail: DRPTPR@drpt.virginia.govor Public Information Office, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, 600 East Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219.
For additional information about the CTB, visit http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019
CHESAPEAKE, Va. – The Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) today approved a historic funding agreement between HRTAC and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to deliver the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project-the largest transportation project in Virginia’s history. The project adds new interstate capacity and twin two-lane bored tunnels along nearly 10 miles of Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk. All I-64 projects under construction in the region today have been made possible through the HRTAC and VDOT partnership.
The Project Agreement for Funding and Administration (PAFA), approved by HRTAC at a special commission meeting in Chesapeake, commits $3.56 billion for the I-64 HRBT expansion work, an amount to be paid through the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund from regional sales and gas taxes. The agreement means HRTAC will fund 95 percent of the project. Other project funding includes $200 million from the Commonwealth’s SMART SCALE program and $108 million from VDOT to fund the replacement of the South Island Trestle Bridges in Norfolk.
“The PAFA we are authorizing today would not be possible without unprecedented cooperation between HRTAC’s local and state leaders, VDOT and the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Together, we have worked to provide regional solutions and partnerships that ensure future congestion relief and connectivity throughout the region,” said HRTAC Chairman Michael Hipple.
VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich commended HRTAC for making critical infrastructure investments that will improve travel time reliability and safety, promote economic growth throughout the corridor and enhance the quality of life for all Hampton Roads residents. “We are one step closer to constructing the HRBT Expansion project and HRTAC has been a committed partner in advancing this generational project,” said Brich.
Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) is the design-build team selected to deliver the project by November 1, 2025. A construction contract is expected to be executed in early April. The contract contains an early completion incentive. A groundbreaking ceremony for the HRBT Expansion Project will take place next month.
Kevin Page, Executive Director, HRTAC, said, “HRTAC, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and VDOT are solving our region’s highway congestion by moving highway improvement projects forward at an unprecedented pace.”
The HRBT improvements will occur in the cities of Norfolk and Hampton. Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander said, “With over one billion dollars of regional funding already invested by HRTAC in congestion relief projects under construction by VDOT, HRTAC’s funding commitment to the HRBT expansion is truly another major milestone for Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth.”
Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck said, “The nearly 200 lane miles of new and rehabilitated interstate construction currently underway is proof we are just beginning to show what Hampton Roads can do to help solve its transportation problems.”
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Commonwealth Transportation Board Takes Critical Steps On Hampton Road Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project
CHESAPEAKE, Va. – At its March meeting this week, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) took action on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project. The CTB endorsed the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Finding of Public Interest for the HRBT Expansion, authorized execution of the Project Agreement for Funding and Administration (PAFA), and approved state funding for replacement of the southern bridge trestles.
The HRBT Expansion is a generational project for the Hampton Roads region and the Commonwealth of Virginia that will enhance mobility, improve emergency evacuation capabilities, reduce congestion, and increase travel time reliability.
“We took critical steps this week to advance the HRBT Expansion,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The collaboration among the CTB, VDOT, and HRTAC is the foundation for delivering the largest transportation project in Virginia’s history.”
As the procurement process is being finalized, an independent audit of the process and reassessment of associated risks was conducted. VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich reported the findings to the CTB, including his certification that the project satisfies all critical components considered for a Finding of Public Interest, including: project costs, assuring that the cost distribution is within industry norms, and that risk management guidelines were followed.
“The HRBT Expansion project is vital to unlocking travel challenges in the Hampton Roads region and beyond,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich. “This week’s forward momentum in the procurement process further unites the team’s commitment to partnership and drives the project closer to construction.”
The CTB also approved a finance plan for replacement of the southern trestles as part of the scope of the HRBT Expansion project. The South Island bridge work addresses aging infrastructure through the replacement of the 6,000-foot trestles supporting the bridge using modern, corrosion-resistant materials that will give the new structure a 100-year service life.
As announced on February 15, Hampton Roads Connector Partners was selected as the design-build team to deliver the project with a fixed contract price of $3.3 billion and project completion date of November 1, 2025. The contract is expected to be executed in April.
The CTB also approved $3.6 million in Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) state funding for mitigation support to Northern Virginia public transportation agencies during a suspension of service at six Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail stations in the Commonwealth this summer for critical capital repairs. The stations will be closed for platform rehabilitation to improve the safety and reliability of Metrorail service. Nearly 17,000 peak hour Metrorail customers who utilize the six Yellow and Blue Line stations south of Reagan National Airport are expected to be impacted. This plan is intended to supplement the mitigation plan that was developed by a 140-member Northern Virginia Stakeholder Group led by WMATA and supported by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), and includes supplemental services during the three-month closure.
In this month’s meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) also approved 11 VDOT contracts totaling $144.6 million.
A $59.6 million design-build contract was awarded to Wagman Heavy Civil, Inc. of York, Pa. to construct a new interchange at Route 7 (East Market Street) and Battlefield Parkway in VDOT’s Northern Virginia District. The project will also modify the intersection of Route 7 and Cardinal Park Drive. The project, expected to be complete in spring 2022, will relieve congestion, improve safety and enhance mobility for cyclists and pedestrians along the corridor.
A $29 million design-build contract was awarded to Orders Construction Company of St. Albans, W.Va. to replace two Smyth County bridges that carry Interstate 81 north and south over Route 11 (Lee Highway), the Middle Fork of the Holston River and the adjacent railroad in VDOT’s Bristol District. Completion is expected in spring 2022.
A $7.4 million contract was awarded to Brayman Construction Corporation of Saxonsburg, Pa. to replace the bridge that carries Route 122 (Moneta Road) over Goose Creek in Bedford County, part of VDOT’s Salem District. Completion is expected in summer 2021.
Additional contracts for paving related activities were awarded as follows:
- A $6.1 million contract was awarded to Rogers Group, Inc., of Nashville, TN, for paving.
- Two contracts, one for $7.6 million and one for $6.9 million, were awarded to W-L Construction & Paving, Inc., of Chilhowie, for paving.
Northern Virginia District
- Two contracts, one for $5.4 million and another for $5.7 million, were awarded to Superior Paving Corporation, of Gainesville, for paving.
- A $5.1 million contract was awarded to Colony Construction, Inc., of Powhatan, for asphalt resurfacing.
- A $5.4 million contract was awarded to Allan Myers VA, Inc., of Glen Allen, for patching and paving.
- A $6.4 million contract was awarded to Allan Myers VA, Inc., of Glen Allen, for asphalt resurfacing.
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.
For more information:
- Final bid results and projects:
- CTB meetings, times and locations:
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
RICHMOND, VA – Today, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, Audi of America, and Traffic Technology Services (TTS) announced that more than 1,450 traffic signals in the Northern Virginia area now share real-time data with Audi’s Traffic Light Information (TLI) technologies, including Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) and “time-to-green.”
Through data sharing, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provides real-time traffic signal information to Audi vehicles that are equipped with TLI. With time-to-green, the information sharing between VDOT and Audi can lead to improved operations and enhanced safety on arterial roadways. TLI lets drivers stopped at a red light know when that light will change to green and GLOSA provides speed recommendations to drivers to minimize stops at red lights.
In 2016, Audi worked with TTS to launch Traffic Light Information, an Audi feature that allows the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. VDOT’s support of the TTS vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service through its SmarterRoads portal makes the agency the largest single data provider in North America for this system. TTS continues to work with VDOT to expand the capability into other regions throughout the Commonwealth.
“VDOT’s collaboration with Audi, TTS, and other innovative companies leverages the Commonwealth’s data and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, preparing us for more connected and automated vehicles on our roadways,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “We are committed to improving safety, reducing congestion, and exploring opportunities to partner with the private sector.”
“We’re excited to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to continue to bring industry-leading connectivity and mobility solutions to Audi drivers in the community near our Northern Virginia headquarters as well as to our customers across America,” said Mark Del Rosso, president, Audi of America. “Not only do vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies like GLOSA benefit drivers today, they’re also the critical steps needed as we continue toward an automated future.”
“The industry needs more agencies to lead the way like the Commonwealth has with their SmarterRoads portal. It takes visionaries on both sides of a connected vehicle technology to make a system like this possible,” said Thomas Bauer, TTS chief executive officer. “VDOT and Audi are true pioneers that are advancing the state of the industry, and we are proud to work with both.”
Traffic Light Information, an Audi connect PRIME feature available on select 2017, 2018, and newer models, enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S.
When one of these select Audi models approaches a connected traffic light, it receives real-time signal information from the traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection. When the light is red, the TLI feature will display the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the instrument cluster in front of the driver or in the head-up display (if equipped). This “time-to-green” information helps reduce stress by letting the driver know approximately how much time remains before the light changes.
Future iterations of V2I technology could include integration with the vehicle’s start/stop function, optimized navigation routing, and other predictive services. All of these services are designed to help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on crowded roadways.
Audi is the first manufacturer to launch Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) in the U.S. GLOSA uses traffic signal information and the current position of a vehicle to display a speed recommendation that allows drivers to pass traffic lights during a green interval, in order to reduce the number of stops at red lights. The distance to stop, the speed limit profile for the area, and the signal timing plans are all used to calculate the speed recommendation displayed to the driver.
For more information, visit www.media.audiusa.com.