June 5, 2014
A new sewer pipeline could make its way underneath the already busy McIntire Road if Charlottesville and Albemarle County officials don't come to an agreement on an alternative.
The executive director of the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority (RWSA) says a new pipeline is needed to eliminate the risk of an environmental issue. The current pipe was installed back in the 1950s and services The Corner and Charlottesville’s downtown.
“We have an agreement with the State Department of Environmental Quality that if we don't have this issue solved by July then we will need to pay an engineer to look at other alternatives,” says Tom Frederick, executive director for the RWSA. “Unfortunately that is going to be a project that would be a much higher cost.”
The current cost of the entire project is $3.5 million. That also includes the three phases of construction that led up to the fourth and final phase of replacing the old pipeline near McIntire Road and Harris Street.
Frederick hopes that they can move the pipeline to the west of McIntire road, slightly away from the current Rt.250 construction, but that land is owned by both Albemarle Co. and the city of Charlottesville.
“We're now actively encouraging the city and the county to continue their communications and come up with a mutually agreeable solution,” says Frederick.
Businesses in McIntire Plaza are hoping for a compromise too, because extra construction could halt business more.
“The unfortunate thing is it doesn't take many times sitting in traffic before someone mentally writes off this intersection and they just won't drive through until the construction is done,” says Matt Monson, owner of the Great Harvest Bread Co.
“Obviously we want it to be over as soon as we can, but we are all ready for it to be over so we can see the traffic we had before the construction started,” explains Charles Owens, general manager for Carpe Donut.
Construction for the fourth and final phase of the pipeline could take several years to complete.
The RWSA hopes to hear from city and county officials by the end of July.