Residents Voice Noise Concerns Ahead of 250 Interchange Construction

Residents of one Charlottesville neighborhood are making noise about construction, but it's not the construction itself that many fear.

Rather, it's the noise to come once construction on the Route 250 Bypass interchange is completed.

Those who live in the North Downtown neighborhoods, particularly the Birdwood community, say trees and natural embankments provide a buffer to the sound of traffic.

When construction begins in March on a new interchange, they fear their quiet neighborhoods will be anything but.

The interchange is part of the McIntire Road Extended project, an extension of Albemarle County's John W. Warner Parkway. As part of the plan, construction crews will take out a number of trees and a natural embankment to build a highway overpass and on-ramps.

Residents of North Downtown expect the noise levels to skyrocket.

"A lot of that character, we're in danger of losing that to increased vehicle traffic, noise pollution, air pollution," said Colette Hall, a North Downtown resident and past president of the residents' association.

More than 500 trees will be planted when construction is done, but some feel like that won't be enough to maintain the quiet lifestyle many lead now.

"We've had a landscape architect plan the most appropriate type of landscaping in there to both create a sound buffer as it grows and to provide beautification," said Jim Tolbert, the city's director of neighborhood development services.

Construction on the interchange project is scheduled to begin next month and could last at least two years.

City staff say residents have been fully informed along every step of the project, and they plan to continue that process. Staff will meet with residents in March to alert them of road closures and detours ahead of the start of construction.


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