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Other HRTPO Freight-Related Studies

Suffolk Rail Impact Study (May 2007)

This study analyzes the impacts to 31 at-grade highway-rail crossings in Suffolk, Virginia that were expected to see increased rail traffic due to new port facilities in Hampton Roads.  Performance measures were used to evaluate the effects of this traffic on mobility and safety.  Based on the analysis using these performance measures, the crossings were ranked and improvements were prioritized.

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Traffic Impact of an Inland Port in Hampton Roads (September 2011)

This purpose of this study was to examine the expected impact that an inland port facility located in the western area of Hampton Roads would have on regional roadway travel and congestion.  This analysis showed that an inland port may do little to lower regional travel levels.  For existing conditions, weekday truck volumes would only be expected to decrease between 1.0% and 2.1% under the various scenarios, with total regional volumes only decreasing between 0.04% and 0.08%.  These changes would be even lower during the busiest travel hour in the afternoon, and there would also be no changes in regional congestion levels with the inland port, regardless of scenario.

In 2030, the facility would be expected to have a larger impact, but still do little to lower regional travel levels.  Weekday truck volumes would be expected to decrease between 2.2% and 4.4%, with total regional travel only decreasing between 0.10% and 0.19% under the various scenarios.  There would therefore be very little change in regional congestion levels, and in some scenarios would even lead to additional congestion around the inland port site in Isle of Wight County.

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Existing and Future Truck Delay (September 2013)

This study builds on the analysis of existing truck volumes and delays contained within the 2012 Hampton Roads Regional Freight study to include future truck volumes and delays by location in Hampton Roads. It uses the new truck component and time-of-day capability of the regional travel demand model to forecast truck volumes and congestion to be faced by trucks in the next 20 years.  This is the first time that HRTPO staff has forecasted future truck traffic or truck delays.  The results of this analysis include future roadway segments with the highest total weekday truck delays.

Based on the results of this study, the HRTPO refined the Project Prioritization Tool for the LRTP.  For example, previous versions of the Tool awarded points to projects using generalized measures of “high”, “medium”, and “low” impact on truck movement and reduction of travel time to ports.  The Tool has been updated to award points based on reduction of truck delay (weekday hours/mile) from this study, which is a more refined, quantitative measure.

 
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Positioning Hampton Roads for Freight Infrastructure Funding (March 2014)

MAP-21, the previous federal surface transportation authorization program, emphasized roles for states, MPOs, and other stakeholders in freight planning.  States and MPOs that are organized, with data and analyses, will be in a better position to benefit from the next authorization.  At the time this study was conducted, final designation of the National Freight Network had not been established.

In order to assist the State of Virginia and the United States in preparation of this effort, this study identified a base network of highways within Hampton Roads that were anticipated to be part of the National Freight Network.  It also evaluated the condition and performance of those same highways and determined freight bottlenecks and major trade gateways in order to strategically position the state and the Hampton Roads region for future freight infrastructure funding initiatives.

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Truck Delay of Key Planned Highway Projects in Hampton Roads (June 2015)

This study builds on the work contained within the 2013 Existing and Future Truck Delay in Hampton Roads study, measuring future truck delay impacts in the next 20 years for six key planned highway projects.  It estimates total weekday truck delay for the region and by corridor in the next 20 years for seven scenarios—a base future roadway network scenario and six additional scenarios containing the base future roadway network and one of the following key highway projects:

  • I-64 Peninsula Widening (including Segments 1-3 and Fort Eustis Blvd Interchange)
  • I-64 Southside Widening (including replacement of High Rise Bridge)
  • I-64/I-264 Interchange (including Witchduck Rd Interchange)
  • Route 58 (Holland Rd)
  • Third Crossing (including Patriots Crossing, Craney Island Connector, and I-664 Widening/Bowers Hill Interchange)
  • US 460/58/13 Connector (including SPSA and Hampton Roads Executive Airport Interchanges)

The purpose was to test and measure the impact of each highway project on truck delay for the total roadway network and along major corridors in the vicinity of each project location.

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Economic Assessment of Tolls on Freight Transportation in the Hampton Roads Region (October 2015)

In response to freight industry concerns regarding tolling as a funding mechanism from improving and expanding existing infrastructure, FTAC, with the support from VDOT and the HRTPO, commissioned a study to examine the economic implications of proposed highway improvements and the use of tolls to fund those improvements.

Major findings from the study include:

  • Freight rates in region are generally competitive with peer ports.
  • Without the proposed major regional capacity projects there will be an additional 11,060 hours of truck delay daily, translating into more than 4 million additional hours of truck delay in 2040.  This increase in truck delay gives rise to significant increases in trucking costs.
  • The cost of doing nothing is significant.  It is estimated that business as usual (BAU) will lead to nearly $1 billion increase in trucking costs in 2040.  This includes driver and non-driver based costs as well as the cost of reduced number of turns for local drayage operators.
  • 57% of the increased cost ($552.2 million) under the BAU scenario will be borne by local truck trips
  • Based on current trends in tolling rates, the freight industry will be better off building new capacity on key truck routes with tolls than not making the investment.  The net benefit to the freight industry of making the proposed infrastructure investments and using tolls (at the current rate plus inflation) to fund them is about $174 million in 2040.
  • Both tolls and congestion costs impact local trips more that trips originating or terminating outside the region.  It is estimated that local truck trips will incur about 57% of the total congestion costs under the BAU and they will pay about 66% of the tolls under the Build with Tolls scenario.
  • If tolls rise above $22 per trip in 2040 for local trucks, the costs of tolls start to exceed the congestion relief benefits.  That equates to about $7.30 in current dollars.
 
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