Future of Hampton Roads has its finger on the pulse of achieving our goal of High Speed Rail connectivity to Hampton Roads. The NEC FUTURES April 2013 Preliminary Alternatives Report represents that the "study" areas do not yet include Hampton Roads, but are getting closer.
The goal of NEC FUTURE is to develop a long-term investment program for improving and growing the Washington, D.C., to Boston, Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail service to accommodate projected year 2040 commuter and intercity rail ridership, as part of the regional transportation system in the Northeast. This Preliminary Alternatives Report summarizes the process by which a large set of Initial Alternatives, which would contribute to achieving this goal, was refined and repackaged into a smaller set of "Preliminary Alternatives." The Preliminary Alternatives, in turn, will be evaluated and narrowed to an even smaller set of "Reasonable Alternatives," and ultimately to a preferred investment program as NEC FUTURE advances. The NEC FUTURE program is being undertaken pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which includes preparation of a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), in which the Reasonable Alternatives will be analyzed and compared based on the environmental, socioeconomic and transportation impacts. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the lead Federal agency, is preparing the EIS and will identify a preferred investment program. At the end of the EIS process FRA will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) selecting an investment program.
The Preliminary Alternatives Report consists of a summary of the alternatives development process through the selection of the Preliminary Alternatives. The Appendix includes Fact Sheets describing each of the Preliminary Alternatives.
The NEC FUTURE project team will prepare an Alternatives Development Report (ADR), which will summarize the processes for evaluation and screening of the Preliminary Alternatives and the identification of the Reasonable Alternatives that will be further evaluated as part of the Tier 1 EIS.
Reading the report, we find that high speed rail alternatives are inching their way closer and closer to Hampton Roads. It is very important that we continue our efforts to be included in the Northeast Corridor. We have the traffic, we have the regional importance. We need the connectivity.
Toward that goal, FHR has submitted a public comment letter which represents the desire to include Hampton Roads in the NEC: Click Here
The letter from the Greater Norfolk Corporation: Click Here
The letter from the Hampton Roads TPO: Click Here
Additionally, several other regional organizations have provided their public input as well. With presence, communication and mindshare, we hope to achieve our goal.
Future of Hampton Roads