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VDOT Shares Latest Plans for 29 and 250 Bypass Interchange - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

VDOT Shares Latest Plans for 29 and 250 Bypass Interchange

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Tuesday night, the Virginia Department of Transportation unveiled the latest design for the proposed U.S. 29 to U.S. 250 bypass interchange. Updates include additional driving lanes and a pedestrian crosswalk, but some are still questioning whether the plan is really an improvement.

Tuesday's public hearing was an opportunity to clarify some questions and concerns, including how well the design addresses the number of car accidents near the proposed interchange. People had one more chance to weigh in during what will most likely be the last public hearing before the project design is finalized.

VDOT is looking to add one southbound lane along 29 and bring in an additional lane along the westbound entrance ramp onto 250.

"You might as well have the rescue squad, the fire department and all the policemen you can get stationed right there because you're going to have accidents galore," said James Burton, who attended the hearing.

Burton came to the meeting because he's concerned that the traffic pattern is too confusing for drivers merging onto the ramp. But VDOT says it is looking at a larger piece of road that extends from Hydraulic Road all the way to the Barracks Road exit to make it safer for drivers.

"We've had a number of rear-end crashes in that area, so what we're looking at doing is trying to make that merge a longer piece of roadway so that people have a longer way to merge in there," said Lou Hatter, with VDOT.

So far, the public feedback has contributed some significant changes to the design. At the last open forum, people overwhelmingly said they wanted to see more done for pedestrians near the Best Buy.

"As a result of those comments, we're proposing a crosswalk at Angus Road that would go from the west side of Route 29 onto the median strip and then there would be a sidewalk within that median strip that extends down underneath the bridge," Hatter said.

Kay Tomlin lives close to the site and hopes that building a noise barrier remains a priority, but also says the project is needed and long overdue.

"I'm definitely in favor of any kind of growth for the city, and of course moving the traffic out of here is most important," Tomlin said.

The project is estimated to cost around $11 million, but that is subject to change.

VDOT will use Tuesday night's feedback to make any necessary changes to the design. People can also submit written comment until December 7. Click here for more information.

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