Two options are on the table to replace the Belmont Bridge in Charlottesville. One replacement would go over the railroad tracks, while the other would go under. A meeting is now set to review the plans.
It's safe to say whatever the option is, rebuilding the bridge will cause traffic issues, but those at City Hall are asking that they be kept to a minimum.
On Wednesday the public will get to weigh in on the two options. The first would be to rebuild the bridge similar to how it stands now, with wider sidewalks and new bicycle lanes. The other option is to tunnel under the railroad tracks. The city says a tunnel would require less maintenance over the years but would be harder to construct.
"It's hard to rebuild or completely build a bridge and keep traffic flowing. One of the challenges is to maintain traffic over the bridge for as long as possible if not the complete time," said Jim Tolbert, Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Service director.
The plans still need to be refined. The going price tag for the new bridge stands between $14 million and $18 million.
State and federal dollars have been earmarked for the project.
The Belmont Bridge meeting is set for Wednesday February 13 at 6 p.m. at the Central Library on East Market Street. It is free and open to the public.