vdogg

Hampton Roads Transportation

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This is such a major issue in our region that i thought is deserved its own thread. Transportation is what is going to make or break this little boom we've been having as of late. I feel we're gonna hit the wall pretty soon if we don't resolve some of these problems.

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***disclaimer: I work for VDOT (some of you from other forums already know this), but i am not in the capacity to be a part of or have any control over major road construction projects. Issues that i raise here are the same that any concerned citizen would. Any views that i express here are my own and should not be taken as representative of the views of the agency, or any one else who works for the agency. ***

http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story...3418&ran=175668 (for full article click link)

Now we

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http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-80481sy0...adlines-topnews

Federal transportation bill has help for Hampton Roads projects

The legislation, passed by the House, includes money for Jamestown and to study a third crossing.

BY EDWARD LEBOW

247-4535

March 12, 2005

A $284 billion federal transportation bill recently approved by the U.S. House of Representatives promises money for key Hampton Roads projects, including studies on building a third Hampton Roads bridge-tunnel and improving U.S. Route 460.

Most are projects cut from last year's bill and could suffer the same fate this time around......

Edited by vdogg

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http://www.wvec.com/news/topstories/storie...g.b9ec7e92.html

Proposals for third Hampton Roads crossing advance

06:02 PM EST on Thursday, February 17, 2005

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted Thursday to move forward with two proposals from construction companies to build a third bridge-tunnel connecting the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will now ask the private companies for more detailed plans by next winter on how they would build and pay for the crossing.

The project involves building a bridge-tunnel parallel to the Interstate 664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel and 13 new miles of highway. It also calls for widening 15 miles of I-664 from Hampton to Chesapeake.

Both proposals would be financed primarily through tolls, a VDOT spokeswoman said, and could include tolls on the existing bridge-tunnel facilities as well as the new crossing. ........

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http://www.wvec.com/news/topstories/storie...g.b9ec7e92.html

Both proposals would be financed primarily through tolls, a VDOT spokeswoman said, and could include tolls on the existing bridge-tunnel facilities as well as the new crossing. ........

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:unsure: Tolls on the existing bridge tunnel facilities!?!?! Are these people nuts?! That would make traffic absolutely horrendous. There is no way that that is a viable plan. If they are going to do tolls it should only be at the new facilities.

Edited by vdogg

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:unsure: Tolls on the existing bridge tunnel facilities!?!?! Are these people nuts?!  That would make traffic absolutely horrendous. There is now way that that is a viable plan. If they are going to do tolls it should only be at the new  facilities.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No kidding, this why so many people take VA as a joke. You can't put a toll on a tunnel that has been up since the sixty's. The new tunnel won't make up for that kind of traffic hold up. Sometimes i think those guys in Richmond are morons.

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No kidding, this why so many people take VA as a joke. You can't put a toll on a tunnel that has been up since the sixty's. The new tunnel won't make up for that kind of traffic hold up. Sometimes i think those guys in Richmond are morons.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it is safe to say traffic in Hampton Roads is a bad train wreck. From Williamsburg to Virginia Beach, the transportation needs for this region is extreme, and we have yet to see a real solution for the problem.

Edited by VAGATOR

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I think it is safe to say traffic in Hampton Roads is a bad train wreck. From Williamsburg to Virginia Beach, the transportation needs for this region is extreme, and we have yet to see a real solution for the problem.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We have absolutely no backing from Richmond, they keep putting money in a dead horse (Richmond). They build so many roads up there it is ridiculous and we are beyond there need its crazy.

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Personally, the most fright thing about the transportation needs of this region, the Greenbelt, Third Crossing, Second Midtown Tunnel, 460 improvement, widening of I-64 in from Newport News to Richmond, these projects are not luxuries but absolutely essential for the growth of this area and they will cost billions.

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I honestly think that the private proposals are the only way to get this done. People don't want their taxes raised, fine, but people must be prepared for the results. If none of these private proposals goes through, thats it! We're dead in the water. Gradually, as companies start to realize that they cannot move their products effectively around the region, they'll go and find a region where they can. It scares me because this region is doing so awesome economically, i don't want the transportation issue to take away from our chances of being a major world class city someday.

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I honestly think that the private proposals are the only way to get this done. People don't want their taxes raised, fine, but people must be prepared for the results. If none of these private proposals goes through, thats it! We're dead in the water. Gradually, as companies start to realize that they cannot move their products effectively around the region, they'll go and find a region where they can. It scares me because this region is doing so awesome economically, i don't want the transportation issue to take away from our chances of being a major world class city someday.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True that! Right now Norfolk International Terminals (NIT)is growing insanely fast simply due to the fact that imports can be moved around the country quicker and cheaper due to our highways, railways and location and not to mention the terminal having the world's 8 largest shipping cranes. But it true, growth is fast and Norfolk Southern has begun renovations and expansion to its rail line parallel to Terminal blvd. More trucks clog Hampton blvd and Terminal blvd than ever before. If we don't expand our highways, make a much needed third crossing, we will lose business just like what is happening in California (which is why we are growing and they are losing) due to lack of expansions on railways and terminals. The mayor said (NIT) is set to become the East Coast's largest shipping terminal when expansion is done to the terminal in 8? years or 2008? something like that, i cant exactly remember but I know an 8 is in there.

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True that! Right now Norfolk International Terminals (NIT)is growing insanely fast simply due to the fact that imports can be moved around the country quicker and cheaper due to our highways, railways and location and not to mention the terminal having the world's 8 largest shipping cranes. But it true, growth is fast and Norfolk Southern has begun renovations and expansion to its rail line parallel to Terminal blvd. More trucks clog Hampton blvd and Terminal blvd than ever before. If we don't expand our highways, make a much needed third crossing, we will lose business just like what is happening in California (which is why we are growing and they are losing) due to lack of expansions on railways and terminals. The mayor said (NIT) is set to become the East Coast's largest shipping terminal when expansion is done to the terminal in 8? years or 2008? something like that, i cant exactly remember but I know an 8 is in there.

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2018 is the year you are looking for and we still will have a ways to beat New York but you guys are absolutely right. If Richmond doesn't see this they are stupid because this does alot for the entire state not just the Norfolk area. This generates the money to put through out the state. They better get on the ball. Like i said so many times they want the tax dollars but don't want to sink any money into this region and it will come back to hurt them.

Edited by rusthebuss

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Well a huge amount of our traffic growth is due to port growth. Port money goes right to the general fund. They wanted us to raise our local tax to pay for a plan that basically 1) supported developers (who build houses that suck up revenue like crazy when the cost of new sewers/roads/schools are factored in) and 2) supported expansion of the ports over which we have no control.

What they really need to consider is making a connector between the two tunnels and expanding the 64 tunnel being as it is the one that almost everyone uses. That would be better for residents and tourists but not as good for the ports and big business. No one wants to drive through Suffolk then through the midtown nightmare or the 264 tunnel to get to the Beach or Norfolk. Finally whether people like it or not, they need to have tolls if that is the only way it will get built. I do not like tolls myself but I would rather deal with a toll of $2-3 than a wait of 2-3 hours.

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Well a huge amount of our traffic growth is due to port growth.  Port money goes right to the general fund.  They wanted us to raise our local tax to pay for a plan that basically 1) supported developers (who build houses that suck up revenue like crazy when the cost of new sewers/roads/schools are factored in) and 2) supported expansion of the ports over which we have no control.

What they really need to consider is making a connector between the two tunnels and expanding the 64 tunnel being as it is the one that almost everyone uses.  That would be better for residents and tourists but not as good for the ports and big business.  No one wants to drive through Suffolk then through the midtown nightmare or the 264 tunnel to get to the Beach or Norfolk.  Finally whether people like it or not, they need to have tolls if that is the only way it will get built.  I do not like tolls myself but I would rather deal with a toll of $2-3 than a wait of 2-3 hours.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tolls would cause more traffic problems that what we have now, especially on roads that are heavly traveled

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Richmond needs to take a step back and address our issues immediately and take them very seriously, our economy is way larger than Richmond and if we take a hit the state takes that hit as well. They take so much from this area and yet get very little back. This has upset me for years and this area needs to step and put in Richmond's face until they choke on the issue and have no choice or we could break from the state and join NC hahahaha and screw Richmond

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Tolls would cause more traffic problems that what we have now, especially on roads that are heavly traveled

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

LOL not if you have EZ Pass and 70% of the other people don't... I actually see your point but I am saying that even a toll would be better than nothing at all. And a toll put into place AFTER there is some relief, not BEFORE they start work would be more advantageous of course.

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:angry:

LOL not if you have EZ Pass and 70% of the other people don't...  I actually see your point but I am saying that even a toll would be better than nothing at all.  And a toll put into place AFTER there is some relief, not BEFORE they start work would be more advantageous of course.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I understand what you are saying but they build so many roads in Richmond and waste our tax money there when the demand is not there, but when it comes to this area all the sudden there is no money for us. But their hands are in our back pockets when tax time comes. They tax the crap out of the buisnesses and give hardly anything back i can't stand Richmond. Their head is so big and they have no right to because they are only the third largest metro in the state.

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bridgesbig.jpg

The troubles over bridges in South Hampton Roads

The 22nd Street Bridge in Chesapeake is rated one of the two worst in South Hampton Roads. Though damage to the concrete supports is visible, VDOT says it is still safe. DELORES JOHNSON/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT.

By TOM HOLDEN, The Virginian-Pilot

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VDOT can't even repair the roads that already in place. If it was Richmond the money would magically appear. The State neglects this area so bad. It really makes me angry!!!!

Edited by rusthebuss

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VDOT can't even repair the roads that already in place. If it was Richmond the money would magically appear. The State neglects this area so bad. It really makes me angry!!!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, but i think we're partly to blame for that. If we were to ever actually act as a region we might get things done. If we were to combine our political will even one time i think people would be astonished at how quickly stuff can happen. Not to mention i don't think its just Hampton Roads that is neglected. The entire state is in pretty bad shape as far as transportation is concerned.

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That may be true but there is other factors in this. Richmond wants something the state pays for it even if they have to take it from other areas needing it more than them. Look at all the road construction up in Richmond in the past 5 years and look at what the state has done for us. Richmond has no traffic issues at all. I lived there for about 2 years. I drove from the north side to the southside and no traffic problems at all. They have roads up there that has very little travel but the state paid for it. We have a need and VDOT doesn't want to help.......

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That may be true but there is other factors in this. Richmond wants something the state pays for it even if they have to take it from other areas needing it more than them. Look at all the road construction up in Richmond in the past 5 years and look at what the state has done for us. Richmond has no traffic issues at all. I lived there for about 2 years. I drove from the north side to the southside and no traffic problems at all. They have roads up there that has very little travel but the state paid for it. We have a need and VDOT doesn't want to help.......

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

VDOT does want to help but they can only do so much with the money provided. What you have here is a conflict between what the engineers say we need, and what the government says they want. If VDOT had it's way the third crossing would've been built back in the 80's. You've also got to take into account competing interest, such as education. They just raised our tuition again this year and i for one am getting pretty sick of it. Our education system needs more funds too, but that would only come at the cost of other departments/entities. It's a balancing act that pretty much keeps everyone unhappy all of the time. Without improving our commerial tax base substantially i really don't see an end to that trend.

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I agree, like i said before they need to get more fortune 500 companies to relocate here at least in the state. Perferably in this area.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think fortune 500 companies will save us and the states traffic problems. I was in Northern Va nearly 2 years ago and saw more highway construction there than you can shake a stick at. Then again, Northern VA is in the top 3 in the nation for horrbile highway traffic so I understand. A fortune 500 company of course will mean more money but when it comes down to it, we the people I think are to blame. We complain about raised taxes to pay for projects and vote for people to reject it for us and then turn around and complain about how we hate that there are no plans or money to pay for improvements/expansions. We all go vocal against a toll booth for 20 years but I think taking 1 minute to give a dollar is a small price to pay for being stuck in traffic for half an hour or more everyday and losing 5 years of our lives in our car on the highway. I've seen many new highways in Delware and Pennsylvania and true, I have to pay at toll booths, but to me, it's very satisfying to go on a highway with way less traffic after dropping a dollar that didn't take no more than a minute to do. I say follow what I've seen in Deleware and Pennsylvania and build what we need and use tolls and EZ passes to pay for them. Traffic isn't going to be too bad right off the bat simply because these additions won't be replacements. People will continue to use what we currently have, but the additions would take out traffic that would otherwise cause heavy traffic. Not everyone will use the third crossing opposed to the HRBT and vice-versa. Sometimes I think the whole "toll-booth" issue is blown up more than what it really is. True there are dumb people in Richmond (road projects in Richmond, toll booths on our current bridges and highways to pay for additions, c'mon y'all how much more ignorant can those actions/proposals get?) but if people really need or want it, they WILL pay for it. I don't see people making alternative travel routes to avoid the $12 toll fee on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Edited by ace707

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I don't think fortune 500 companies will save us and the states traffic problems. I was in Northern Va nearly 2 years ago and saw more highway construction there than you can shake a stick at. Then again, Northern VA is in the top 3 in the nation for horrbile highway traffic so I understand. A fortune 500 company of course will mean more money but when it comes down to it, we the people I think are to blame. We complain about raised taxes to pay for projects and vote for people to reject it for us and then turn around and complain about how we hate that there are no plans or money to pay for improvements/expansions. We all go vocal against a toll booth for 20 years but I think taking 1 minute to give a dollar is a small price to pay for being stuck in traffic for half an hour or more everyday and losing 5 years of our lives in our car on the highway. I've seen many new highways in Delware and Pennsylvania and true, I have to pay at toll booths, but to me, it's very satisfying to go on a highway with way less traffic after dropping a dollar that didn't take no more than a minute to do. I say follow what I've seen in Deleware and Pennsylvania and build what we need and use tolls and EZ passes to pay for them. Traffic isn't going to be too bad right off the bat simply because these additions won't be replacements. People will continue to use what we currently have, but the additions would take out traffic that would otherwise cause heavy traffic. Not everyone will use the third crossing opposed to the HRBT and vice-versa. Sometimes I think the whole "toll-booth" issue is blown up more than what it really is. True there are dumb people in Richmond (road projects in Richmond, toll booths on our current bridges and highways to pay for additions, c'mon y'all how much more ignorant can those actions/proposals get?) but if people really need or want it, they WILL pay for it. I don't see people making alternative travel routes to avoid the $12 toll fee on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I hate tolls as much as the next person but im beginning to think that they will be absolutely essential to get us out of our current predicament.

True there are dumb people in Richmond (road projects in Richmond, toll booths on our current bridges and highways to pay for additions, c'mon y'all how much more ignorant can those actions/proposals get?)

Oh, and i'm sure you didn't mean anything by it but we should be careful to state clearly when we are critisizing Richmond that it is the government, not the people, that is the focus of our concern. We have gained many new forumers, and a couple more from Richmond i am happy to say :) . I just want to make sure we don't scare anyone away :thumbsup: .

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