Authority Meeting Highlights
December 18, 2020
As the end of 2020 is rapidly approaching, the Authority reconvened electronically last evening for the last time this year. While there was a lot to cover, we're bringing you the highlights to keep you in the know. The Authority began the evening with the adoption of a resolution on finding the need to conduct the business meeting by electronic communication means during Governor Northam's declared State of Emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Susan Shaw, Northern Virginia Megaprojects Director, Virginia Department of Transportation, returned last evening to provide the Authority an annual update on the I-66 Outside the Beltway Concession Fee Projects. Projects funded with the Concession Fee must move more people, enhance transportation connectivity, improve transit service, reduce roadway congestion, and increase travel options.
Status updates on these Concession Fee Projects covered several categories, including: 1) Projects within Transform I-66 Project Construction Limits; 2) Transit Improvement Projects; 3) Pedestrian Improvement Projects; and 4) Roadway Projects.
Transform I-66 Outside the Beltway Fall 2020 Construction Progress highlights, included:
- New Poplar Tree Road Bridge over Route 28: Opened in late November 2020. The new bridge includes a shared-use path connecting to the new E.C. Lawrence Park access road, and connections on both sides of Route 28.
- New Vaden Drive Bridge over I-66: Opened in late November 2020. Provides access to the Vienna Fairfax/GMU Metrorail Station. The new, wider bridge will include a shared-use path opening in late 2020, and ramps to and from the west that will connect to the I-66 Express Lanes.
- Last traffic signal on the Route 28 corridor: Removed in November 2020. Represents a milestone in providing smoother and safer travel for drivers, and concluding a years-long effort to make Route 28 ‘signal free’ from Route 7 in Loudoun County all the way to the Route 29 interchange in Fairfax County.
Review the entire Annual Update on I-66 Outside the Beltway Concession Fee Projects, here.
Next, Tracy Baynard, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC, presented the Draft NVTA 2021 State and Federal Legislative Program, as recommended by the Governance and Personnel Committee (GPC).
The Authority has three legislative priorities have been developed: 1) Restore Long Term Funding to the Authority; 2) Protect Dedicated Revenue and Powers of the Authority; and 3) Support Additional Flexibility for Virtual Meetings of Public Bodies.
Photo Courtesy of VRE
Northern Virginia’s transit agencies and WMATA continue to provide essential services serving our region and the federal government. Earlier federal COVID-19 relief enabled these systems to operate safely and serve first responders, healthcare workers and essential employees across the National Capital Region. Now, these transit agencies need additional funding to avoid staff layoffs and service reductions that would cripple our region’s ability to quickly recover from the economic downturn. The Federal agency workforce depends on WMATA service to serve the nation and further federal aid is paramount.
The Authority unanimously adopted the NVTA 2021 Legislative Program, with requested removal of Section A.1.c. ("Transit Capital Funding"). The full Draft 2021 Legislative Program and a one-page highlight summary can be viewed here.
Additionally, the Authority is planning to update its Economic Impact Analysis, which gives an overview of how Authority-funded projects are impacting the economy.
Previous analysis conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics, LLC
Upon the NVTA Finance Committee recommendation, the Authority approved the proposed Economic Impact Analysis Contract with Chmura Economics & Analytics, LLC, which conducted the most recent of two previous analyses.
The Authority is currently updating TransAction, the long-range transportation plan for Northern Virginia. Given that TransAction is updated on a five-year cycle, it is appropriate to review the TransAction vision statement now to ensure it continues to reflect the Authority’s aspirations for the regional transportation system over the coming decades.
The revised statement focuses on mobility, accessibility, and resilience, while embracing core values of safety, equity, and sustainability. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the Planning Coordination Advisory Committee (PCAC) and the Planning and Programming Committee (PPC), each discussed the revised vision statement at their respective meetings in November. Each committee unanimously recommended that the Authority approve the revised vision statement.
Since the vision statement will be used to develop the goals, objectives, and performance measures that will guide the Plan, the Authority unanimously approved the revised TransAction Vision Statement last evening: