Evaluating Transportation Projects

Evaluating Regionally Significant Transportation Projects

As part of SB 1785 (2019), reporting responsibility as required by HB 599 (2012), transferred from VDOT to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority on July 1, 2019. HB 599 requires significant transportation projects in Northern Virginia to be evaluated and rated before NVTA adopts its funding programs. Each project’s evaluation and rating is based on the project’s expected impact on reducing congestion, and to the extent possible, the project’s expected improvement in regional mobility during a homeland security emergency. Projects evaluated include highway, mass transit and technology projects.

While the project ratings are used during NVTA’s funding cycles, they are based on analysis conducted for TransAction, the region’s long-range multimodal transportation plan, which is developed and maintained by NVTA. The current version of TransAction was adopted in October 2017, and the plan is updated on a five-year cycle. The Call for Regional Transportation Projects for NVTA’s next funding program (using FY2024 and FY2025 revenues) was posted on July 1, 2019. Prior to adoption of this funding program in June 2020, updates will be posted on this website at least every six months.

June 1, 2021 Update

On March 11, 2021, NVTA selected Cambridge Systematics to lead a team that will update TransAction, the long-range transportation plan for Northern Virginia.  NVTA updates TransAction every five years, and will adopt the current update by approximately November 2022.  As part of this TransAction update, NVTA approved a modified vision for TransAction in December 2020 that will guide the overall development and update process:

“Northern Virginia will plan for, and invest in, a safe, equitable, sustainable, and integrated multimodal transportation system that enhances quality of life, strengthens the economy, and builds resilience”

As part of the update process, NVTA will consider and ultimately approve goals, objectives, measures, and associated weightings that are consistent with the new TransAction vision.  NVTA will conduct this approval process transparently, including multiple discussions at various NVTA statutory and standing committees.  NVTA will approve updated goals, objectives, measures and weightings by the end of 2021.  The weighted measures will support the derivation of TransAction project ratings, consistent with the requirements of HB 599 (2012).  The TransAction project ratings will not be available until spring/summer 2022.

TransAction will incorporate a multi-faceted and inclusive public engagement approach beginning in late spring/early summer 2021.  In addition, TransAction will embrace NVTA’s core values – safety, equity, and sustainability – including process, projects, priorities, and identification of potential policy development areas.

When adopted in 2022, TransAction will include an updated Project List, comprising multimodal regional transportation projects.  Consistent with previous versions of TransAction, it is a fiscally and geographically unconstrained plan.  Regional transportation projects do not require committed funding to be included in the TransAction Project List.  Equally, inclusion of regional transportation projects in the TransAction Project List is not a guarantee of future funding by NVTA using its regional revenues.

The TransAction Project List associated with the current version of TransAction, adopted by NVTA in October 2017, includes 352 projects.  Any project located in Northern Virginia that was included in the TransAction Project List has been eligible for consideration as part of NVTA’s FY2018-2023 and FY2020-2025 Six Year Programs.  These projects remain eligible for one further round of funding – the upcoming FY2022-2027 Six Year Program.  Thereafter, the TransAction Project List adopted in 2022 will determine eligibility.

As with all NVTA funding programs, eligible applicants may submit eligible projects for review and evaluation by NVTA staff.  For the FY2022-2027 Six Year Program, NVTA anticipates using a similar project selection process to that used for previous Six Year Programs.  Further details on the upcoming FY2022-2027 Six Year Program will be the subject of an additional posting on this webpage on or about July 1, 2021.

March 1, 2021 Update

NVTA’s next Call for Regional Transportation Projects (CfRTP) will be for the FY2022-2027 Six Year Program.  The CfRTP is expected to be announced during summer 2021.  Review of project applications, using a similar methodology to what has been used for previous Six Year Program updates, will occur in late fall 2021 through early spring 2022, followed by an opportunity to submit public comments during spring/summer 2022.  The public comment period will include a formal Public Hearing.  It is anticipated that the FY2022-2027 Six Year Program will be adopted during summer/fall 2022.

July 1, 2020 Update

41 applications were evaluated as part of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s FY2020-2025 Six Year Program.  Information on these applications is summarized on the Authority’s website.  Specifically, the TransAction Project Ratings (previously HB 599 ratings), and associated ranks, are summarized in this document, and more fully in this document.

Project recommendations, taking account of a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors, together with public comments, were developed by NVTA staff and posted on June 9, 2020.  Following review by the Authority’s two Statutory Committees (Planning Coordination Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee) and the Planning and Programming Committee (PPC) in mid-June, the PPC developed final recommendations that were posted on June 22, 2020.

The Authority will consider the PPC final recommendations at its meeting on July 9, 2020, at which it is expected to adopt the FY2020-2025 Six Year Program.

April 2, 2020 Update
**Note: all dates below are subject to change due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.**

41 applications are currently under evaluation as part of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s FY2020-2025 Six Year Program, which is expected to be adopted by the Authority in July 2020.  Information on these applications is summarized on the Authority’s website.  Project evaluations, which comprise a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors, were released by the Authority for a public comment period that commenced on March 13, 2020 and will continue through May 24, 2020.  During the public comment period, the Authority will host a Public Hearing on May 14, 2020.

Specifically, the TransAction Project Ratings (previously HB 599 ratings), and associated ranks, are summarized in this document.  The methodology is described below.

The aforementioned TransAction Project Ratings utilized the 15 weighted performance measures used to evaluate the TransAction Plan (see page 3). The 15 performance measures included the seven original measures used for the HB 599 process (with a combined weighting of 45 percent) applied during evaluation of projects for the Authority’s FY2015-16 and FY2017 Programs. (Note: The HB 599 process was not required for the Authority’s FY2014 Program.) Individual TransAction Project Ratings for each of the 41 eligible projects in the FY2020-2025 Six Year Program, were calculated using the TransAction simulation model for horizon year 2040. Two versions of the 2040 multimodal transportation network were modeled:

  • The 2040 ‘No Build’ network, including projects under construction or fully funded;
  • The 2040 ‘Build’ network, which additionally included the 41 eligible projects.

The rating for each project was based on a comparison of the two model runs.

January 2, 2020 Update
41 applications are currently under evaluation as part of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s FY2020-2025 Six Year Program, which is expected to be adopted by the Authority in June 2020.  Information on these applications is summarized on the Authority’s website. Project evaluations, which comprise a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors, will be released by the Authority for a public comment period that is expected to commence in mid-March 2020 thru the end of April 2020.  During the public comment period, the Authority will host an Open House and Public Hearing.  This website will be updated when the project evaluations are released in early March 2020.

Visit VDOT’s website for previous postings on this matter.

Prior to July 1, 2019: Evaluating Significant Transportation Projects