Posts Tagged ‘Hampton Roads’


NJ Transit Brings Light Rail Extension Into Bergen County One Step Closer

Supporters of light rail in Bergen County, NJ received a piece of news they have been waiting for a long time. Currently NJ Transit light rail runs only in Hudson County, but recently the transit agency approved an environmental study to extend the line 10 miles north of its Tonelle Avenue stop to Englewood Hospital.

The Bergen portion of Hudson-Bergen will finally be implemented and be a barrier-free service to schools, hospitals, universities and commercial centers. - Hasbrouck Heights Mayor Rose Heck

Proposed stations include 91st Street in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, Englewood Route 4, Englewood Town Center and Englewood Hospital.

The project was altered by a few miles due to opposition from officials and residents in Tenafly, where stops had been proposed for Tenafly Town Center and Tenafly North. NJ Transit’s Board of Directors approved $3 million for Jacobs Engineering of Morristown to finish the final environmental impact statement.

RWA is excited to see light rail expansion all across the United States. We know the benefit that a light rail extension will bring to the Bergen County residents, not only with more options of transit but the economic development that follows light rail development.

To learn more about how to bring light rail to your city, contact RWA today and find out how The Tide light rail system was born in Hampton Roads. 

Hudson-Bergen light railimage credit: wallyg on flickr


Sen. Warner Says Fiscal Uncertainty Could Have Significant Impacts To The Hampton Roads Economy

In a statement issued by Sen. Mark Warner yesterday, he stated his concern for the impact of the fiscal uncertainty in congress and its impact on Virginia. Sen. Warner even went as far as to single out how Hampton Roads would be impacted with defense cuts and the multi-billion dollar shortfall in Navy operations and maintenance. He mentioned that already the Navy is planning to defer maintenance, including canceling ship repairs for the second half of the fiscal year.

Congress rang in the new year with a political compromise to avoid what had come to be known as the fiscal cliff. While we avoided a tax increase on most Americans, we also pushed off once again many of the tough decisions required to get our country back on a responsible fiscal path.

If Congress and the White House are unable to agree on debt reduction measures by March, America will face a triple threat: a congressional vote to raise the debt ceiling, across-the-board spending cuts required by the sequester and the expiration of the law that keeps the government funded.

The dysfunction in Washington continues to drag down our recovery. It has added to consumer and business uncertainty, and it’s keeping the economy in low gear.

The indecision also poses a significant threat to our national security. As it is, the Pentagon is operating on last year’s budget. And this white-knuckle game of chicken over the automatic sequester cuts, in particular, could require the Pentagon to ground aircraft and call ships back to port.

If Congress fails to step up, these fiscal challenges will require Pentagon budget planners to find billions of dollars in savings almost immediately, with hardly any flexibility to prioritize the cuts.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appropriately has ruled out cuts to ongoing combat operations in Afghanistan, as well as cuts in pay and benefits for our warfighters. But that means automatic sequester cuts will dig deeper into other programs. As Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently told me, “How can a shipyard deliver 92 percent of a ship?”

In Hampton Roads, automatic cuts could mean an immediate, multibillion dollar shortfall in Navy operations and maintenance. Already, plans are being made by the Navy to defer maintenance, including canceling ship repairs, for the second half of the fiscal year.

Additionally, procurement in major combat systems could be canceled – along with the significant per-unit cost savings negotiated as part of these multi-year contracts. For instance, the Pentagon negotiated nearly $4.5 billion in savings through a multi-year contract to build Virginia-class submarines – and those savings could be lost if the Navy disrupts the terms of the agreement.

The sequester was intentionally designed to be an unacceptable financial tool – an option no reasonable policymaker would ever willingly choose to use. But by continually pushing off the day of reckoning, we essentially have further amplified its potentially destructive impact: Even deeper cuts may be required over an even shorter budget period.

The sequester’s impact on military readiness could be disastrous. We will have fewer resources to keep our pilots trained or our warship crews capable of full combat operations. It will rob Army units of important training resources as they to prepare to deploy for combat.

Another area of deep concern is the potential layoffs of federal employees and private-sector contractors. Our civilian workforce is composed of hardworking individuals who deserve better. And Virginia’s defense contractors cannot be expected to make smart decisions about their businesses if they lack clear guidance on the short- and mid-range budget outlook.

That’s why I continue to push for a broad, bipartisan approach that, once and for all, strikes a responsible “grand bargain” on all of these fiscal challenges. If we can summon the political will, there is a path forward to begin reining in our nation’s deficits and debt without lurching recklessly from crisis to crisis.

Over the past two years, our bipartisan “Gang of Six” in the Senate managed to move within sight of the goal line on a grand bargain, based on the framework spelled out by National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly called the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

We produced a balanced package of spending cuts, improvements to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and broad-based tax reforms to generate additional revenue by making our tax code flatter and fairer.

Ultimately, congressional dysfunction and partisan politics short-circuited the work of the Gang of Six. But I firmly believe we can solve our deficit and debt challenges without threatening our national security, holding back our economic recovery or sacrificing investments in programs that will help our economy grow and create jobs.

As Congress prepares to enter yet another round of discussions about federal spending, the automatic cuts and raising the debt ceiling, I believe all of us should be able to agree at least on this much: The full faith and credit of the United States is not a bargaining chip.

Continuing to play games with America’s fiscal future will cause both short- and long-term damage to our national security. And neither the safety nor the financial well-being of the American people should be used as leverage by politicians angling for temporary partisan advantage.

Source: The Office of Senator Mark Warner, Commonwealth of Virginia 


Light Rail Referendum Passed In Virginia Beach

The Tide is one step closer to expanding to Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach voters approved a nonbinding referendum on the light-rail system. Sixty-two percent of voters approved the Virginia Beach light rail referendum in the recent election. The ballot question asked if the Virginia Beach City Council should adopt an ordinance to support expanding the Tide from Norfolk. The Tide launched in Norfolk last year, it was the first light rail system in Virginia. Expansion supporters believe expanding the light rail system to Virginia Beach would positively impact economic development in Hampton Roads and decrease traffic congestion.

On election day, Randy Wright and Associates President, W. Randy Wright spoke to citizens entering the polls about voting ‘Yes’  for the referendum to expand the Tide.

“Today is an extremely important day for the future of light rail in Hampton Roads. Virginia Beach residents have the opportunity to support completion of the study which will create the footprint for riders to one day ride from the Virginia Beach oceanfront to Old Dominion University and on to the Norfolk Naval Base,” said Randy Wright, known as the Father of Light Rail in Hampton Roads.

Mr. Wright was instrumental in the development of The Tide in Hampton Roads. Randy Wright and Associates offers urban development and transportation consultation services. Contact us to launch your next multimodal transportation project. 

Macarthur Squareimage credit: TrackTwentynine on Flickr


Randy Wright & Associates President will be talking to Virginia Beach voters today in support of the light rail referendum

Father of Light Rail to Work the Polls at Arrowhead Elementary School

Randy Wright & Associates President will be talking to Virginia Beach voters today in support of the light rail referendum.

VIRGINIA BEACH VA, NOVEMBER 6, 2012: RWA President, W. Randy Wright, will be at Arrowhead Elementary School on Susquehanna Drive in Virginia Beach today from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Mr. Wright will be talking to citizens entering the polling station about the benefits of a ‘Yes’ vote for the referendum in support of extending The Tide light rail line from Norfolk into Virginia Beach.

“Today is an extremely important day for the future of light rail in Hampton Roads. Virginia Beach residents have the opportunity to support completion of the study which will create the footprint for riders to one day ride from the Virginia Beach oceanfront to Old Dominion University and on to the Norfolk Naval Base,” said Randy Wright, known as the Father of Light Rail in Hampton Roads.

Should the City Council adopt an ordinance approving the use of all reasonable efforts to support the financing and development of The Tide light rail into Virginia Beach?*

*The referendum allows Virginia Beach voters to provide City Council with their current level of interest in pursuing light rail as an update to the 1999 rail referendum.

Arrowhead Elementary School
5549 Susquehanna Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

ABOUT RANDY WRIGHT & ASSOCIATES
Randy Wright & Associates is a development, transportation, and government relations consulting firm focused on public/private finance and land planning. The firm provides a unique range of services to builders, developers, and municipalities by joining together the experience of finance options and government contacts. The consultants at RWA have experience in residential, commercial and urban development projects in Virginia and across the United States. For more information on Randy Wright & Associates, visit http://randywrightassociates.com.

Media and interview requests for W. Randy Wright and Randy Wright & Associates should be directed to JASE Group LLC at http://randywrightassociates.com/media/rwa-public-relations-contacts for scheduling.

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U.S. 460 Toll Road on the Way, Construction Scheduled to Start in 2014

Construction on the $1.396 billion U.S. 460 toll project is scheduled to begin in 2014 with the road scheduled to open in 2018, according to Virginia’s Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships. The 55-mile road from Suffolk to Petersburg will cost $3.69 for cars and $11.72 for trucks. Toll rates will increase 3.5 percent per year. The existing U.S. 460 will remain a free alternative route without tolls.

“This is a huge economic development opportunity for Southside and Hampton Roads,” said Jeffrey C. Southard, executive vice president of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance.

The four-lane divided, limited-access highway with seven interchanges is targeted at helping freight traffic move swiftly and easily out of the state’s Hampton Roads marine terminals.

“The 460 project will provide a rapid and economical alternative for freight movement into and out of the Port of Virginia,” state Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton said. “In addition to its transportation benefits,” Connaughton said, “the project will open several mega-sites for manufacturing and distribution centers that will drive economic development and dramatically increase port activity.”

A public-private partnership, the new U.S. 460 will be built largely with public money. Virginia’s Department of Transportation plans to commit between $753 and $930 million in public funding to the project. The Virginia Port Authority plans to commit between $202 and $250 million. Private-sector contractor, US 460 mobility partners is responsible for arranging additional financing. According to officials, the use of public financing will reduce the length of time tolls will be charged from 99 to 40 years.

The project is still awaiting approval for $248 to $341 million in federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act — TIFIA — loans from the Federal Highway Administration. The TIFIA loan will impact the amount of public money used for the project.

As a leading transportation consulting firm, Randy Wright and Associates is an industry leader in urban development and multimodal transportation projects. Follow our blog for the latest industry news and trends.

US 460 Signimage credit: Will Weaver on Flickr


Norfolk to New York: Governor McDonnell Announces Amtrak Northeast Extension

Norfolk now has a direct rail connection to New York. Governor Bob McDonnell announced Amtrak Virginia’s Northeast Regional service extension to and from Norfolk will start December 12, 2012. Passengers will have the option to take a same-seat trip from Norfolk to Richmond, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City and even Boston.

Governor McDonnell stated: “The partnership between the Commonwealth and Amtrak to bring an Amtrak Virginia station to the city of Norfolk reflects my administration’s commitment to continue to make progress in improving our transportation networks for the state. By providing the citizens of Virginia an alternative way to get to and from Southside Hampton Roads, it takes cars off the highways, helping ease congestion on already highly-traveled roads. The new station provides a one-seat ride to Richmond, Washington, DC and major cities along the northeast corridor, offering an economical and environmentally-friendly way to travel.”

Amtrak’s extension to Norfolk marks the first intercity passenger rail service to the city since 1977. The Norfolk Amtrak station will be at Harbor Park in downtown Norfolk. Passengers will have easy access to connect with The Tide, Hampton Roads’ only multimodal light rail system.

As transportation consulting experts, Randy Wright and Associates can assist you with launching your next urban transit project.

Amtrakimage credit: Johnathan Hawkin on Flickr


HRT Rider Survey Says Bring The Tide to Virginia Beach

Hampton Roads Transit conducted a recent survey of The Tide riders to gain feedback of riders’ impression and usage of the light rail transit system. The survey included responses from 3000 riders.

Based upon the survey, 60 percent of riders indicated a need for an extension of The Tide light rail to Virginia Beach. Subsequently, it was also found that a high percentage of The Tide riders, 44 percent, ride by choice stating they would drive if The Tide were not available.

Other key factors identified by the survey included:

  • 45 percent of The Tide survey respondents are under 30 years old versus 34 percent on the bus system.
  • Riders using The Tide during the week are primarily going to work or home.
  • Riders using The Tide on Saturdays are likely riding for recreational purposes. They are also more likely to be first-time riders.
  • Almost one third of all riders board at Newtown Road and 61 percent of those riders are Virginia Beach residents.

Randy Wright and Associates was integrally involved in the establishment of The Tide in Hampton Roads. As the Father of Light Rail, Randy Wright is skilled in multimodal transportation development. Let’s discuss how we can assist with your next urban transit endeavor.

The Tide Ridersimage credit: norfolkdistrict on flickr


$52 Million in Federal Funds Coming to Virginia, Reallocated from Other States

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced that Virginia is going to receive an additional $52 million in federal transportation funds. The additional funding was reallocated to Virginia Department of Transportation from the Federal Highway Administration from other states that didn’t use the money.

States that were unable to identify transportation projects for the allocated funding had to return it. The funding is then directed to states that have identified projects for all of their allocated funding and have more projects ready for construction.

According to McDonnell, Virginia DOT wants to use the additional funding for repaving and rehabilitating sections of Interstates 95 and 85 in the Richmond region and Interstate 264 in Hampton Roads. The projects are pending based upon the approval of the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Randy Wright and Associates offers transportation consulting services throughout Virginia and beyond. Contact us to discuss how we can assist you with launching your next urban transit project.

Roadway Constructionimage credit: VaDOT on Flickr


Virginia to Receive $10 million in Earmarked Funds from U.S. DOT

Virginia will see $10 million in unspent transportation earmarks from the U.S. Department of Transportation. These funds include $200,000 for transportation projects in Hampton Roads.

In a recent media conference call,  U.S.Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that unspent earmarks totaling $473.3 million will be returned to 49 states, the state of Wyoming had no unspent funds. The unspent funds were for 671 transportation projects.

“These idle earmarks have sat on the shelf as our infrastructure has aged and construction workers sat unemployed,” LaHood said. “We can’t wait any longer. We’re getting the money to the states to put to work on projects they need most.”

According to LaHood, states will have the option to spend the money on listed projects or they can choose to identify projects that are ready for execution. Transportation projects must be selected by Oct. 1, 2012 and the funds obligated to the projects by Dec. 1, 2012.

Projects have yet to be identified for the state of Virginia. Virginia Department of Transportation Spokesperson Tamara Rollins responded to an inquiry regarding the earmarks with the following statement:

“Obviously, any bit of money is good news,” she said. “It’s good for us to be able to add to projects in the transportation network regardless of the amount. Sometimes small projects can do big things — there is always a call for that. But trying to build a tunnel or express lanes — it’s not going to go too far. There are an awful lot of needs out there, big and small.

Through our various transportation consulting projects and multimodal endeavors Randy Wright and Associates is deeply involved in the economic expansion of Virginia and beyond. Contact us to discuss how we can assist you with launching your next urban transit project.

VA DOT CONSTRUCTIONimage credit: VaDOT on Flickr


Virginia Transit Projects Lead to Economic Growth, Hampton Roads to See an Increase in Jobs

The Midtown Tunnel project in Hampton Roads is just one of several transportation projects that are currently under construction or in the developmental process in the state of Virginia.  According to the Office of Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia currently has $14 billion worth of transportation projects underway to include the new Midtown Tunnel in Hampton Roads.

The expected economic impact of these transit projects is extensive. Chmura Economics conducted an independent analysis that projected that once fully completed, Virginia would experience an economic growth of more than $13 billion and an additional 105,000 jobs.

Hampton Roads is expected to bring in more than $1 billion worth of employment opportunities through the Midtown Tunnel project. Those jobs include direct construction work for local businesses, as well as related jobs for local suppliers and vendors. Construction has already begun on the new Midtown Tunnel and will also include restoration of the existing Midtown Tunnel, Downtown Tunnel and an extension of the Martin Luther King Freeway Extension.

According to an article in Virginia Business, other transportation projects throughout the state include:

  • Dulles Metrorail Extension
  • U.S. Route 460 Corridor Improvement Project
  • Route 58 widening, the road is expected to open to traffic by fall 2015

Randy Wright and Associates is deeply invested in the economic growth of the state of Virginia. We are a development, transportation and government relations consulting firm focused on public/private finance and land planning.  Let’s discuss how RWA can assist with achieving your vision and goals.

Traffic In HRBT Tunnel image credit: VaDOT


Happy Birthday to The Tide: Virginia’s First Light Rail System Marks One Year Milestone

The Tide marked one year of service to the City of Norfolk on August 19.

Of course, what birthday would be complete without gifts and birthday cake? In celebration of The Tide’s big day, the City of Norfolk presented the gift to its riders in the form of free rides on The Tide on August 17. Community members were also invited to enjoy cake at The Tide’s most frequented stop, the MacArthur Square Station.

From initial implementation, The Tide has surpassed all expectations nearly doubling first year projections by offering an average 5,040 weekday rides. The Tide runs 7.4 miles with stops from Eastern Virginia Medical Center complex east through downtown Norfolk and adjacent to I-264 to Newtown Road. Hampton Roads Transit projects that The Tide will reach its two millionth passenger in November.

As an integral player in the launching of the first light rail system in Virginia, we couldn’t be happier with the success of The Tide.  Randy Wright and Associates is dedicated to developing dynamic partnerships with civic-minded transportation professionals.  Let’s discuss how we can maximize your next urban transit project.

 

Tide Opening Dayimage credit: Norfolk District on flickr


An Independence Day Message From Randy Wright & Associates

Another Independence Day is here and with that comes all the normal 4th of July festivities. Food, family, friends, cookouts, and fireworks usually end up on the list. We wanted to take a moment during this joyous holiday to reflect on what this day means to us and we do not think it could have been reflected more appropriately than the message from our president.

“Two hundred and thirty six years ago our country was founded, on principles of freedom, democracy and inclusion as no other country before us had ever done. We have our challenges and tribulations yet more people have died trying to get to America than any place on earth. Let us celebrate our Birthday and dwell on what is great in America not what might be wrong. God Bless and have a wonderful July 4th.” -Randy Wright, President, Randy Wright & Associates

We also wanted to take a moment to thank those who have served or are serving to protect this great nation and all that it stands for.

Please be safe, responsible, and enjoy this time with family and friends. Thank you for your support and God Bless the USA!

4th of July American Flagimage credit: jkgreenstein12 on flickr


A Heartfelt Thank You From The Father of Light Rail

The Father of Light Rail, RWA President W. Randy Wright, with the Peter G. Decker Jr Downtowner of the Year AwardW. Randy Wright sends a ‘Thank You’ to his family, friends and supporters after being honored as Downtown Norfolk Council’s Peter G. Decker Jr. Downtowner of the Year.

Norfolk, VA, June 29, 2012: Randy Wright & Associates President, W. Randy Wright, was recently honored by the Downtown Norfolk Council as their 2012 Peter G. Decker Jr Downtowner of the Year at the DNC 2012 Annual Meeting in Norfolk VA. Before a crowd of more than 500 Hampton Roads business professionals at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Mr. Wright, known as The Father of Light Rail, was presented the award as the first recipient of the Peter G. Decker Jr Downtowner of the Year Award. Mr. Wright was nominated for this distinguished honor by Mr. Peter G. Decker Jr and Mr. Alan Nusbaum, both of which are past honorees of the Downtowner of the Year Award.

“I want to say thanks to the near 600 people who were present this afternoon to celebrate the presentation,” said Randy Wright after the June 27th ceremony. “This was without question one of the most extraordinary honors of my life. I am most humbled to have been selected and deeply touched. My heartfelt thanks to those who came from all over Norfolk. God Bless you and let’s continue to make our City a great one.”

ABOUT RANDY WRIGHT & ASSOCIATES
Randy Wright & Associates is a development, transportation, and government relations consulting firm focused on public/private finance and land planning. The firm provides a unique range of services to builders, developers, and municipalities by joining together the experience of finance options and government contacts. The consultants at RWA have experience in residential, commercial and urban development projects in Virginia and across the United States. For more information on Randy Wright & Associates, visit http://randywrightassociates.com.

Media and interview requests for W. Randy Wright and Randy Wright & Associates should be directed to JASE Group LLC at http://randywrightassociates.com/media/rwa-public-relations-contacts for scheduling.

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2012 Downtown Norfolk Council Annual Meeting


What is Randy Wright & Associates Doing Today?

Randy Wright & Associates is currently consulting on many exciting projects, not just in Hampton Roads but Nationally. RWA is partnered with one of the top 5 work force development companies in the United States which inherently expands its expertise and experience exponentially. RWA is teamed with one of the largest market rate builders in the United States as well. Randy Wright & Associates has broad expertise in Government Relations, Transit and Printing and its principals hold significant offices such as Board of Directors membership for Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC of McLean, VA, the parent organization of GreenTech Automotive of Virginia, Mississippi, Luxembourg, China, and Hong Kong.





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