RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Jeffrey Caldwell 804-786-2715
Jeffrey.Caldwell@vdot.virginia.gov
804-337-7264
CO-0909

Feb. 24, 2009



INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL TO EVALUATE DOWNTOWN TUNNEL/MIDTOWN TUNNEL/MLK EXTENSION CONCEPTUAL PROPOSAL
First Public Meeting Scheduled For March 25 in Portsmouth

RICHMOND — The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation has named a 15-member Independent Review Panel (IRP) to examine the private-sector conceptual proposal to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/MLK Extension Project located in the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth.

The panel – made up of citizens, Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) members, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials, local government officials and representatives from other organizations – will solicit input from localities and the general public and evaluate the conceptual proposal to design and construct a parallel Midtown Tunnel, extension of the MLK Freeway between Interstate 264 and London Boulevard and improvements to the existing Midtown and Downtown tunnels.

The panel will hold a series of four public meetings. The first meeting is scheduled for March 25, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Portsmouth City Council Chambers meeting room at 801 Crawford St., 6th Floor, Portsmouth.

Subsequent meetings will be held in both Norfolk and Portsmouth.

In September 2008, Elizabeth River Crossings LLC, submitted a conceptual proposal to develop and operate the project using private investments, user fees including tolls and other innovative financing methods.

The panel will make recommendations to VDOT and the CTB as to whether to proceed in the next step in the procurement process.

Members of the IRP:

  • Mr. E. Dana Dickens, IRP chairman and CTB member
  • Mr. Alan S. Witt, CTB member
  • Mr. Gerald P. McCarthy, CTB member
  • Mr. Cord Sterling, CTB member
  • Mr. Ken Chandler, Portsmouth city manager
  • Ms. Regina Williams, Norfolk city manager
  • Mr. Michael Townes, Hampton Roads Transit chief executive officer
  • Mr. Dwight Farmer, Hampton Roads Planning District director
  • Ms. Ann Wright, Esquire, citizen
  • Mr. Jeff Florin, Virginia Port Authority deputy director
  • Mr. Mal Kerley, VDOT chief engineer
  • Ms. Reta Busher, VDOT chief financial officer
  • Mr. Dennis Heuer, VDOT Hampton Roads district administrator
  • Ms. Amy Probsdorfer, Navy communication liaison
  • Mr. Mike Robinson, Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center senior project scientist

For more information on the Public-Private Transportation Act process and guidelines, and to read the proposal, visit www.midtowntunnel.org.

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