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City Councilors Delay Decision on Belmont Bridge Designs - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

City Councilors Delay Decision on Belmont Bridge Designs

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Belmont Bridge Belmont Bridge
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -

Charlottesville City Council meets Monday for the first time this July. Councilors were expected to start the month making a big decision about the future of the Belmont Bridge, but that decision is being delayed.

The crumbling Belmont Bridge is a highly discussed and debated issue in the city. Councilors finally may have a decision on what to do with it, but we'll have to wait a little longer than expected to get that answer.

Council member, Bob Fenwick said, “Originally we were going to vote, Monday, but it looks like now we'll be bumped back to the 21st."

City engineers have requested a delayed decision to review cost estimates.

At least one councilor believes repairing the bridge is better than replacing it. “It’s a very simple question. What is the repair costs? And then we can consider that as well,” said Fenwick.

Councilors are reviewing four designs to solve the crumbling bridge's problems. The process can be frustrating.

Council Member Kathy Galvin said, "The memo we got last meeting was 117 pages. A lot of it repeated itself."

Councilors say they're taking a fresh look at major concerns about constructing a new bridge, now that their decision is on hold.

“How is it going to affect the businesses over there? How is it going to affect the cut through traffic in the neighborhoods?” said Fenwick.

With a limited $12,000,000 and a growing need for more funds, councilors are trying to put the interests of people who live in the city and use the bridge first.

“If it doesn't come from the state, it’s going to come from the taxpayers of Charlottesville. So I think it behooves us to really make sure we have a measured prudent decision,” said Fenwick.

Three weeks and one agenda from now that decision could bring big changes for the bridge's future. Charlottesville's budget is $3,000,000 short of being able to fund any of the replacement designs and is less than half of the amount needed for the underpass option.

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