August 6, 2014
Talks of easing congestion along Route 29 have been going on for years, but now Albemarle County is one step closer to having a solution.
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne answered questions from supervisors about how the different traffic projects would be sequenced and how much they would impact drivers.
“Obviously the quicker we can do them and get out, the least impacted, but of course people's lives go on during that period and we will make sure that they are able to do so as we go through construction,” says Layne.
One major question plaguing several neighborhoods in Albemarle County is what VDOT plans to do with the homes that were bought for the bypass.
Secretary Layne says they may have to keep some of the homes along Berkmar Drive for other projects, but they do plan on selling back some of those properties in the future.
“I can understand in the various neighborhoods how they are impacted, but I will guarantee this, those homes will be kept clean in those neighborhoods,” says Layne. “We've worked on that the last few weeks.”
“They can expect them to be that way and we'll work towards bringing that into fruition so these homeowners will have some positive of where we are headed.”
He also discussed that local businesses could be involved in the $203 million project.
“Governor McAuliffe has issued a decretive on using local businesses here, minority businesses, so that will be considered,” says Layne. “Of course, we have to consider the overall cost to the tax payers and be good stewards of their money.”
Along with the big interchange project at Rio Rd. and Rt. 29 other projects include the extension of Hillsdale and Berkmar drive and the synchronization of new traffic signals along the corridor.
Secretary Layne is expected to meet with the Charlottesville City Council to hear their concerns on interchange construction.