Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TPO April 21, 2010

This morning the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), Hampton Roads' Federally-mandated transportation planning board, met. The meeting was just over an hour, shorter than usual.

CSX gave a Presentation on the National Gateway Project, a Federal program designed to boost the capacity of railroads in order that they may haul double stack freight between East Coast ports and Midwestern cities. CSX asked the TPO for approval of a Resolution supporting the concept, which would aid it's lobbying in Washington. The TPO did so unanimously.

The really intriguing thing: with the expansion of the Panama Canal due to come online in 2014, currently the only port on the East Coast capable of handling the large ships it's designed for is the Port of Virginia. Folks, let's play that one for all it's worth.

Karen Waterman of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) gave a Presentation on the fast ferry service being planned across the harbor between Norfolk and Newport News. (Yeah, Waterman on a ferry service. There has to be a good joke there....) It was simply informational; no action was requested of the TPO at this time.

There was an update on High Speed Rail. So far the work is on time, but information is slow coming from a couple sources. Kudos to Norfolk Southern for acting quickly.

Finally, there was a Briefing on what changes VDOT is making in the region to deal with staffing reductions due to state budget cuts.

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