March 14, 2013
Work on the Route 250 bypass interchange at McIntire Road in Charlottesville is finally getting underway after years of planning.
Thursday evening, Charlottesville residents got a closer look at how construction will affect their travel. At a citizen information meeting at Charlottesville High School, design engineers laid out traffic impacts and construction sequences.
Phase one of the project is currently underway, and lane closures and a shifting traffic flow are in the near future at the site.
"It's the biggest road in the city and we expect that this matters to people," said Angela Tucker, Development Services Manager with Neighborhood Development Services in Charlottesville. "It's a primary arterial roadway, so we really have no option to detour."
Starting in October, the road will widen and drivers can expect to shift their path. More immediately, lane closures during non-peak hours are expected in the next few weeks. Tucker says, while drivers should expect delays, there will be no rerouting.
"We'll maintain traffic throughout and, for the most part, two lanes on the bypass in both directions and McIntire Road," said Tucker.
Colette Hall is familiar with the design but learned some unwelcome news at Thursday's meeting. After taking a closer look at the poster boards lining the cafeteria, she realized what she thought would be a sweeping view of a creek and hillside near the old skate park will actually be a parking lot.
"I was the neighborhood representative for the federal government and for VDOT for almost 5 years, so I've seen more of these plans than almost anybody, and I just found this out," said Hall.
Owen Peery of RK&K Engineers did not say when exactly the parking lot was added to the project, but said it has "been in the plans for a while."
While Trailhead Parking will be a public lot, it was also designed to give the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad additional parking for evening training classes.
Still, Hall isn't convinced it is the best location for the lot.
"Cars parking here are going to take away the whole view shed of the beauty of this creek," said Hall.
Construction is expected to be complete in July of 2015.
For more information about the project and future traffic changes, CLICK HERE.
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