November 27, 2012
There's little dispute that traffic woes on Route 29's so-called Best Buy ramp to the Route 250 bypass aren't getting any better, especially during rush hour.
"You see a continuing increase in traffic and a need for additional roadway to handle it," said Charlottesville resident Jim Donahue.
"There's several right-hand, left-hand turns, and it is open for a lot of possibilities of accidents, so they do need to have an improvement," said Charlottesville resident Jean Weeks.
The Virginia Department of Transportation showed off some improvements at the Holiday Inn on Emmet Street Tuesday afternoon. The hotel was host to a public hearing on the $11 million project to add lanes to Route 29 south and the on ramp.
"The project meets the need of additional capacity in that area," VDOT spokeswoman Stacy Londrey said.
VDOT wants to add another lane to Route 29 just south of Hydraulic Road extending to Morton Road. They also want to add a lane to the on ramp for the westbound Route 250 bypass.
The project also calls for building a sidewalk in the median of the highway, protected by guardrails.
"In adding an extra lane there, it increases the volume as they go up on the 250 Bypass and just will in general improve safety and traffic flow, not only for the folks using the ramp, but also for the ones going straight through on 29 southbound," Londrey said.
"I think these plans of this section of the project look very good," Donahue said.
Dozens showed up Tuesday afternoon to check out the plans for the first time and offer feedback.
"I think it is going to affect our complex, and I was quite concerned about the noise level [of construction]," Weeks said.
"It gives the opportunity for us to be abreast of the changes and the design and whatnot," Donahue said.
VDOT will incorporate the feedback it receives in the final design, paving the way for a smoother ride along Route 29.
Once the design is finalized, VDOT expects to put the project out to contractors in fall 2014, with construction scheduled to begin in spring 2015.