On Wednesday the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) held it's September meeting.
During the Public Comment session, a number of speakers came forward in support of extending the consultant's contract on High Speed Rail. The contract has now expired.
An engineer from VDOT came to give a briefing on the state study to increase capacity at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT). The $5 million study was ordered by Richmond without any input by the TPO, which is on record favoring The Third Crossing to increase capacity across the harbor. Mayor Paul Fraim of Norfolk led the charge against the initiative. The Port of Virginia representative pointed out that any construction to increase capacity at the HRBT would probably require lane closures. Therefore, it was preferable to build The Third Crossing first in order to provide a detour during any HRBT work.
On High Speed Rail, a Phase II of the Vision Plan is being looked at. The primary issue is the scope of any new contract, then there would be the need to negotiate terms based on that scope.
Finally, the draft project prioritization tool is now scheduled to come to the TPO in December. Staff still has more work to do, then the TPO's three advisory committees will all be asked to weigh in on it in November.