Route 29 Advisory Panel Meets in Albemarle

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With the Western Bypass off the table, 10 people now have the future of Route 29 in their hands. The advisory panel met Thursday in Albemarle County.

The panel is made up of elected officials from Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Culpeper, Danville, Lynchburg, and Warrenton. They were asked to start from scratch by putting together a list of goals.

The group collectively agreed they want to improve safety, decrease drive time and have all that underway within four years and with a cost of $200 million or less. Some ideas include expanding Rio Road to Route 250, widening the lanes north of Walmart, and adding more Park & Ride lots. A lot of the debate centered on funding.

“The initial $200 million was put forth for a state solution so through traffic could go from Danville to Warrenton and vice versa. I believe it's important for those moneys to stay in a through traffic solution,” said Lynchburg City Councilor Turner Perrow Jr.

Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos said, "We need to look at how to use the money that would have been for a Western Bypass to achieve the same goals of reducing congestion, making sure traffic moves through and hopefully reducing the amount of traffic.”

Now that the list of goals is compiled, a technical team will put together different options for the roadway.

The concepts will be presented at the next advisory council meeting on April 10. The panel will present concepts that don't meet the new goals, those that do, and those that meet those goals but are not available because of budget restraints or other reasons.

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