Governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law today the establishment of the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commissioner (HTAC). Comprised of locally elected officials, the commission will have the organizational structure and leadership in place to determine how new regional money - $200 million annually - will be invested in transportation projects. The new funding is part of the transportation funding package passed by the General Assembly last year.
"Decisions on how transportation projects are financed and delivered must represent the best interests of the residents and communities of the Hampton Roads region," said McAuliffe. "In working with Senator Louise Lucas, Senator Frank Wagner and Delegate Chris Jones, we had a common vision for critical transportation decisions to be made at a regional level. We turned our vision into action by passing a new law that gives local governments the ambitious charge to deliver a transportation system that will benefit the region's mobility, economy and quality of life. Locally elected officials will now have the challenge to determine what is best for the region. They will have authority to make important transportation decisions and be held accountable for them."
The 23-member commission will consist of mayors from local governments, state legislators from the region and area Commonwealth Transportation Board members. Decisions will be based on a two-thirds majority vote of elected officials on the commission, representing at least two-thirds of the region's population.
HTAC's job is to deliver an actionable transportation plan this fall, with construction beginning on the first of the projects in 2016. High priority projects include Patriots Crossing, Monitor Merrimac Bridge and Tunnel expansion, High-Rise Bridge replacement, Route 460/58/13 Connector, I-64/I-264 Interchange and I-64 widening.