- Report Published -
|The Feasibility of Constructing Certain Multi-Modal Transportation Interchange Facilities|
|Secretary of Transportation|
|HJR 409 (Regular Session, 1997)|
|In its 1997 session, the General Assembly of Virginia requested that the Secretary of Transportation, through House Joint Resolution 409, "study the feasibility of constructing certain multi-modal transportation interchange facilities, including rail, highway, and air transportation modes, in the vicinity of Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and Richmond International Airport (RIC)." This report provides the results of the Secretary's work pursuant to that request.|
Engineering feasibility studies are costly. Because there are three ongoing major investment studies (MISs) in the study region that have a combined cost of almost $9 million, the Secretary felt it was premature to initiate another high cost study in the region before the results of the others became available.
This report summarizes and synthesizes the results to date of three ongoing MIS for access adjacent to or near the locations targeted for review: (1) the CSX Corridor MIS, (2) the I-64 MIS, and (3) the Hampton Roads Crossing Study MIS. It also includes input from affected agencies and transportation providers.
CSX Corridor MIS
The CSX Corridor MIS was undertaken to identify transportation needs and to develop alternative transportation strategies within the CSX corridor to handle expected growth in population and employment. Access to the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is included in this study. Several public transportation alternatives in the vicinity of PHF have been proposed, including busway, light rail transit (LRT), and automated guideway transit (AGT). LRT is a general term used to describe any electrically powered vehicle operating on steel rails, and AGT describes a computer-driven automatic vehicle operating on a dedicated right of way. This study began in December 1996 and Phase I will be completed in December 1997. Completion of the entire study is projected for summer 1999.
The I-64 MIS was initiated to address mobility problems for the 120-kilometer (75-mile) section of I-64 between I-664 in Hampton Roads/Newport News and I-95 in Richmond arising from the decreasing performance of the transportation system and the increasing growth in population and employment. To fulfill the study objectives of strengthening intermodal linkages and enhancing access to the transportation system, the I-64 MIS is considering improved access to both the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Richmond International Airport along the I-64 and CSX facilities. Access improvements to be studied for each airport include improved, more direct access from I-64; new passenger rail stations to accommodate high-speed passenger rail service; and capacity improvements to I-64. The I-64 MIS was initiated June 20, 1996, and is anticipated to be completed in March 1998.
Hampton Roads Crossing Study MIS
The Hampton Roads Crossing Study MIS is investigating methods of relieving congestion at the existing I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and is addressing major transportation deficiencies in the region. Eleven transportation corridors have been identified as potential sites for a new crossing in the region, and several provide significant time savings for motorists between PHF and the surrounding region. The construction of a third crossing would increase available routes to PHF. The Hampton Roads MPO, at its meeting on July 16, 1997, endorsed Alternative 9 as the locally preferred alternative. By resolution dated July 22, 1997, the Virginia Port Authority also endorsed the adoption of Corridor 9 as the preferred alternative for the third crossing of Hampton Roads. The Commonwealth Transportation Board passed a resolution at its September 18, 1997 meeting expressing its good faith intent to facilitate and develop the Hampton Roads Transportation Crossing identified as Transportation Corridor 9, which consists of a facility that includes a Bridge/Tunnel from I-564 in Norfolk to I-664 in Newport News with a connection from this facility to the Western Freeway (Route 164) in Portsmouth.
Corridor 9 provides a new interchange located south of the existing I-664 Monitor Merrimac Memorial Tunnel and a new crossing from I-664 to Norfolk. It also provides a new connection across Craney Island to Route 164 in Portsmouth, and provides a new transportation facility along the CSXT railroad corridor from downtown Newport News to I-64 near Bland Boulevard.
Our analysis indicates that results from ongoing studies could aid in the feasibility determination for multi-modal interchange facilities. The CSX Corridor MIS (completion date December 1998), I-64 MIS (completion date March 1998), and Hampton Roads Crossing Study MIS (completion date September 1997) include access to PHF and RIC in their scope of potential transportation improvements. Access improvements being investigated are intended to provide a more seamless transfer of goods and people, which is also the objective of a multimodal transportation interchange facility. Results from these three studies, as well as from the RIC Intermodal Transportation Facility Study (completion date December 1997), the Eastern Virginia Regional Airport System Study (Phase I completed May 1995, Phase II completion date September 1998), and the I-64/I-895 Direct Airport Access Road Corridor Feasibility Study (completion date late 1998), which are ongoing and are expected to be completed during the next three to five years, will assist transportation officials in determining the requirements for a multimodal transportation interchange facility.
The General Assembly may wish to request that the Secretary of Transportation, and other relevant transportation officials and authorities, keep the transportation committees informed as to ongoing developments relevant to multi-modal interchange facilities in the vicinity of the two airports and that opportunities for a more seamless connection among modes be pursued.