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Perriello Seeking Money For Projects

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Five big projects that have been in the works in Charlottesville and Albemarle County for years could be a step closer to reality Tuesday. Congressman Tom Perriello has requested nearly $5 million from Congress to push them forward.

The requests cover a wide array of proposals. One is to fund a bike and pedestrian bridge at McIntire Park; one is for a big Habitat for Humanity project.

Perriello is asking Congress for a half million dollars for Habitat for Humanity's redevelopment of the Sunrise Trailer Court. He is also asking for $2.2 million for Crozet's Downtown Streetscape project.

"It includes roadway improvements and connections, streetscape improvements such as sidewalks, lighting, crosswalks," said Albemarle County Director of Facilities Development Bill Letteri.

Letteri says the project is ready to go and federal money could help move other things along that the county can not afford, like the library.

"The existence of these funds and the partnership with the government potentially could make that more of a reality that we can at least move it up in the schedule or consider doing the project sooner than we had anticipated," he explained.

Perriello also requested $1 million for the extension of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport's runway, $1.5 million for the Jefferson School, and $720,000 for a bike and pedestrian bridge at McIntire Park.

"The idea of the bridge here is to span the railroad track that divides McIntire Park into two halves," said Charlottesville Parks and Trails Planner Chris Gensic.

Gensic says he is pleased that Perriello submitted the request.

"We hope with the construction money now possibly in hand we can build this bridge in time to open about when the interchange opens," he said. "And everything will be ready at one time." 

If the money does not come through for the bridge at McIntire Park, Chris Gensic says he will seek more grant money through the Virginia Department of Transportation for construction.

Letteri says this money would mean the Streetscape project could be done in the next 12 to 15 months.

Reported by Tracy Clemons
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