HJ81: Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel; VDOT to implement recommendations of Independent Review Panel.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 81
Offered January 13, 2010
Prefiled January 12, 2010
Requesting that the Virginia Department of Transportation implement the recommendations of the Independent Review Panel and report on the status of such implementation to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability.
Patron-- Oder

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, on July 2, 2009, a cast-iron fire main pipe encased in concrete beneath the Interstate West Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) ruptured; and

WHEREAS, approximately one million gallons of water from the fire suppression system filled the lower duct, resulting in the complete closure of the westbound tunnel for more than eight hours; and

WHEREAS, the HRBT Independent Review Panel (IRP) was created to review policies and procedures used for tunnel operations, maintenance, technology, and management at HRBT; and

WHEREAS, the IRP's recommendations were released on December 16, 2009; and

WHEREAS, those recommendations were as follows:

1. Conduct a risk assessment to identify the critical events that would result in the closure of the facility or risk the safety of facility users;

2. Evaluate the staffing patterns and expertise required for each functional unit;

3. Enhance facility management plans and procedures for tunnel facilities;

4. Enhance traveler information dissemination during incidents and other major events as a means of reducing overall traveler delay;

5. Enhance the emergency plan coordination with localities and first responders; and

6. Implement periodic reviews of security-related plans and policies.

WHEREAS, the General Assembly recognizes the need for action in response to these recommendations; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Virginia Department of Transportation be requested to implement the recommendations of the IRP and report on the status of such implementation to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability by July 1, 2010; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit a copy of this resolution to the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability, requesting that the Virginia Department of Transportation further disseminate copies of this resolution to their respective constituents so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.