News and Updates

FHWA Issues Record of Decision for Hampton Roads Crossing Study

A project to expand the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and widen Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk reached a major milestone this week with the conclusion of a nearly two-year environmental study.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Hampton Roads Crossing Study on June 12. The signature of the document concludes the National Environmental Policy Act process for the study and allows VDOT to proceed with more detailed procurement and design of the project.

In its Record of Decision, the FHWA selected Alternative A as the Preferred Alternative to relieve congestion in the I-64/Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel corridor. Alternative A expands I-64 and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to a consistent six-lane facility from I-664 in Hampton to I-564 in Norfolk. The expansion includes a new bridge-tunnel at the existing HRBT.

The document, a copy of which may be found here, presents the basis for the study decision, per 40 CFR 1505.2, and summarizes the mitigation measures to be incorporated in the project.


The next step in the procurement process is the anticipated release in late 2017 of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to potential proposers who wish to compete for a contract to design and build the project. Many details, including the final lane configuration and construction method of the new tunnel, will be determined as design and procurement advances.

Future updates on the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion will be posted to the new project website at www.HRBTexpansion.org.

FHWA and VDOT publish the Final SEIS for the Hampton Roads Crossing Study

On April 25, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) approved the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS) for the Hampton Roads Crossing Study (HRCS). FHWA has published a Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register (dated May 5, 2017).

The Final SEIS includes the information presented in the Draft SEIS, documentation of the Preferred Alternative, updated analyses, and responses to substantive comments received on the Draft SEIS. The Final SEIS and updated technical documents are available on the study website. 

The Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.10(2)) and FHWA regulations (40 CFR 771.127(1)) state that FHWA will wait 30-days from the publication of an NOA on the Final SEIS before making a NEPA decision. Accordingly, VDOT will request a Record of Decision (ROD) from FHWA to complete the NEPA process in early June. The anticipated ROD will be posted to this web site when it is available.
 
Following the issuance of the ROD, VDOT can advance with more detailed procurement and design activities.

Commonwealth Transportation Board Approves Location for Hampton Roads Crossing Expansion

Record of Decision expected in summer 2017

RICHMOND-The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) today formally approved Alternative A in the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) as the preferred alternative. Alternative A calls for the expansion of the existing I-64/Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to a consistent six-lane facility from I-664 in Hampton to I-564 in Norfolk. The expansion includes a new bridge-tunnel at the existing HRBT.  Improvements would be largely confined to the existing right of way.

Public reviews of proposed alignments were held in July 2015, December 2015, and September 2016. Based on the Draft SEIS and public comments, Alternative A was advanced to the CTB for approval as the location for the project.

Alternative A (as identified in the Draft SEIS) received unanimous support from the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) and Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) on October 20, 2016. The federal Cooperating Agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also had no objections to the alternative.

Alternative A will increase capacity in the existing corridor, increase regional accessibility, improve emergency evacuation capability and military connectivity, reduce congestion and increase access from the Port of Virginia to the interstate system.

Alternative A also has the least number of wetland impacts of any of the build alternatives retained in the SEIS.

The alternative is expected to cost an estimated $3.3 billion and the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Long Range Transportation Plan currently includes $4.8 billion for the project.

The CTB also authorized VDOT to continue working with other parties to advance separate studies to identify appropriate access points around Craney Island.

Today’s action by the CTB also rescinds the prior location decision for a preferred alternative (I-64 Hampton Roads Third Crossing) that was made on July 20, 2000.

The CTB’s vote allows VDOT to proceed with documenting the preferred alternative and responding to public comments in a Final SEIS.  The Final SEIS will include commitments to avoid any permanent property impacts at Hampton University. VDOT anticipates a Final SEIS being published in the summer of 2017. Following publication of the Final SEIS, VDOT can request a Record of Decision (ROD) from FHWA. The ROD will allow VDOT to advance with more detailed designs. VDOT anticipates requesting and receiving a ROD in the summer of 2017 on Alternative A.

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HRCS Update - September

The 45-day public comment period on the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (HRCS SEIS) concluded on September 19, 2016. While the comment period has closed, the Draft SEIS, supporting technical documents, and meeting materials from the Location Public Hearings are still available for review on the study web site. VDOT and FHWA will review the comments received on the Draft SEIS and provide responses to substantive comments in the Final SEIS scheduled to be released in the spring/summer of 2017.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will receive its first briefing on the results of the study and input received from the public on September 20, 2016. A second CTB briefing is scheduled for October 18, 2016. It is anticipated that the CTB will take action to identify a preferred alternative during its action meeting on December 7, 2016. This preferred alternative will be documented in the Final SEIS.

HAMPTON ROADS CROSSING STUDY RELEASED

Public invited to comment on findings before alternative is chosen

SUFFOLK – The Federal Highway Administration and Virginia Department of Transportation today released the results of a study of proposed improvements to Hampton Roads’ harbor crossings, including expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and construction of additional crossings.

The release of the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement opens a 45-day public comment period on the results of the analysis. Two public hearings will be held in which people can review the alternatives under study, talk with VDOT representatives and provide feedback in person. Those hearings are:

  • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. September 7 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Drive in Hampton.
  • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. September 8 at the Quality Suites Lake Wright, 6280 Northampton Blvd. in Norfolk.

The Hampton Roads Crossing Study is considering four alternatives to improve transportation between South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula. Those alternatives include expanding the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, building connections between Route 164 in Portsmouth and I-564 in Norfolk, expanding I-664, and building a water crossing between I-564 and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board is expected to take formal action on a preferred alternative by the end of the year.

Public comment will be accepted until September 19. Comments can be made online at www.hamptonroadscrossingstudy.org/comment, by email to HRCSSEIS@VDOT.Virginia.Gov or by mail to Scott Smizik, VDOT Project Manager, 1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219.

To learn more and to view the Draft SEIS, visit www.hamptonroadscrossingstudy.org. The website also lists locations where the public can view a printed copy of the document.

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HRCS Update - June

In June 2016, VDOT briefed the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) on the status of the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (HRCS SEIS). The presentations from these meetings are available here. Previous presentations and meeting materials also are available on this web site. VDOT is scheduled to brief the HRTPO’s Citizen Technical Advisory Committee in July.
 
VDOT remains on schedule to publish the Draft SEIS in early August. This publication will be announced through a FHWA Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, newspaper and other media announcements, on the study web site, and through emails like this. The Draft SEIS will be made available for a 45-day public comment period. During this time, VDOT will host Location Public Hearings to present the findings of the study and solicit input from the public. Following the close of the public comment period, VDOT will brief the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on the study and then seek a formal endorsement by the CTB of a preferred alternative. VDOT anticipates CTB action before the end of 2016. Following the identification of the preferred alternative, VDOT will work with FHWA and its other partners to develop a Final SEIS that documents the preferred alternative, provides necessary analyses of this preferred alternative, and responds to public comments on the Draft SEIS. VDOT anticipates publishing this Final SEIS in the spring of 2017. Following the publication of the Final SEIS and update of regional planning documents, VDOT would request a Record of Decision from FHWA to advance the first section of the preferred alternative.

If you know others who are interested in the HRCS SEIS, please forward this email and they can sign up here.

Thank you for your continued interest in the HRCS SEIS.

HRCS Update - May

In April 2016, VDOT briefed the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Transportation Technical Advisory Committee and the Newport News City Council on the status of the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (HRCS SEIS). 

In early May, VDOT also briefed the James City County Board of Supervisors on the status of the study. The presentations from these meetings are available here

Previous presentations and meeting materials also are available on the web site. (www.hamptonroadscrossingstudy.org)
 
VDOT is on schedule to publish the Draft SEIS in early August. This publication will be announced through a FHWA Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, newspaper and other media announcements, on the study web site, and through emails like this. 

The Draft SEIS will be made available for a 45-day public comment period. During this time, VDOT will host Location Public Hearings to present the findings of the study and solicit input from the public. Following the close of the public comment period, VDOT will brief the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on the study and then seek a formal endorsement by the CTB of a preferred alternative. 

VDOT anticipates CTB action before the end of 2016. 

Following the identification of the preferred alternative, VDOT will work with FHWA and its other partners to develop a Final SEIS that documents the preferred alternative, provides necessary analyses of this preferred alternative, and responds to public comments on the Draft SEIS. 

VDOT anticipates publishing this Final SEIS in the spring of 2017. Following the publication of the Final SEIS and update of regional planning documents, VDOT would request a Record of Decision from FHWA to advance the first section of the preferred alternative.

If you know others who are interested in the HRCS SEIS, please forward this email and they can sign up here.

Thank you for your continued interest in the HRCS SEIS.

VDOT Briefs Agencies

In February 2016, VDOT briefed local, state, and federal agencies and groups on the status of the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (HRCS SEIS). 

The presentation from this meeting is available here. Previous presentations and meeting materials also are available on the web site. 

During February, the study team also neared completion of field studies to inform the HRCS SEIS. Over the next few months, the team will document its findings and complete the necessary analysis to inform the SEIS. 

Thank you for your continued interest in the HRCS SEIS.

February Newsletter Now Available

In January 2016, VDOT, FHWA and the federal cooperating agencies concurred on the alternatives to be retained for analysis in the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (HRCS SEIS).

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Citizen Information Meeting
December 9, 2015

At the December Citizen Information Meetings, the public was invited to re-examine the three alternatives that were retained for analysis in the original study, as well as an additional alternative identified during initial public outreach.  The public was asked to provide input on how these alternatives met the purpose and need for the study, if there were other alternatives that should be considered, as well as seeking any other information the public could provide to inform the study.

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CITIZEN INFORMATION MEETINGS PLANNED FOR HAMPTON ROADS CROSSING STUDY  SEIS  

VDOT representatives will be present to discuss the study and answer questions

SUFFOLK, Va-VDOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and other stakeholders, have initiated work on a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to re-evaluate the Hampton Roads Crossing Study Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Two Citizen Information Meetings (CIMs) are planned to gather public input for the SEIS. 

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