VDOT Considers Rerouting Western Bypass

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The Virginia Department of Transportation is considering realigning a section of the Route 250 Western Bypass to avoid harming a historic site.

Tuesday morning, VDOT met with federal agencies and members of the Sammons family to talk about options that could minimize the impact on the historic Sammons site. The site is an Albemarle County farmstead that includes the former home of Jesse Scott Sammons and the adjacent cemetery where he is buried, and that is currently in the path of the planned bypass.

"Because there's a process of back and forth and we're talking about probably 10 or 12 representatives in terms of agencies and various groups, the options that were discussed today have to go through a collaborative process of everyone being comfortable with what comes out on the final end,” said Lou Hatter, spokesperson for VDOT.

Federal law requires VDOT to look at multiple options, but the department wouldn’t go into specifics about ideas discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. VDOT does, however, say the meeting was productive.

While not all of the alternative bypass options are clear, one option would severely impact some homes in Albemarle.

Jim Clawson, who lives on Ivy Ridge Road, says the proposed bypass option could potentially run right behind his backyard, ruining the place he has called home for 25 years.

"We chose this place to get away from the hustle and bustle and now they're bringing the hustle and bustle to us. It's quiet, it's peaceful we have animals we have birds and now we're going to hear semis going by and trucks going by and cars going by. We're not very happy about that,” Clawson said.

Clawson says he and his neighbors are urging VDOT to look at a better option.

VDOT is expected to hold another meeting, but a date hasn’t yet been set.

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