Plans for Rt. 29 Still in the Works

April 24, 2014

Questions were flying left and right at the third Route 29 solutions advisory panel meeting.

Four concepts were discussed that included creating through lanes at major intersections as well as creating a parallel road scheme that uses Berkmar and Hillsdale drives.

Overall many on the panel believed that a mixture of those concepts would work best.

“A blend is probably the most popular,” says Jane Dittmar of the Albemarle Co. Board of Supervisors. “I do like the low build parallel road, but what is absent from that is how to treat additional traffic at Hydraulic and Rio.”

Dittmar says that more data should be collected to see just how efficient these plans would be.

According to the 10-person panel, 85 percent of traffic along the corridor comes from local drivers and 15 percent are people just trying to get through the busiest part of Route 29.

They are also trying to figure out the best way to budget the other projects that have already been programmed into the plans.

Those include creating a ramp near Best Buy, extending Hillsdale Drive, widening Rt. 29 as well as improving traffic signals. Those plans would cost around $43 million.

“There's just some thought there about should some of the money we have be used to finish funding,” says Phillip Shucet, facilitator for the advisory panel. “We want to see that $200 million supporting through traffic.”

Turner Perrow from the Lynchburg City Council says those projects should not be a part of the money set aside for the state road, rather than local traffic changes.

“If we do not see that's going to be supporting through traffic then we will be opposing that.”

Perrow says that Lynchburg will lobby to get funding for the other projects, but that the money should go towards addressing mobility and congestion through the corridor.

The fourth and final meeting takes place on May 8th. Final plans are expected to go before the Commonwealth Transportation Board by May 14.

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