Cville-Albemarle MPO Approves Road Projects

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The Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization made some big decisions regarding the future of transportation throughout the area.

It looks like 2015 could bring with it a lot of construction.

Discussion began around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission office, where most of the speakers from the public urged the board to approve the new projects and get construction underway. The new projects are additions to the 2040 Long Range Plan now that a plan has been set for Route 29 by state officials.

Wednesday night, board members voted to officially pull the Western Bypass out of the plan and add in other elements, including new signals on Seminole Trail, a widened Route 29, and an extended Hillsdale Drive, which would provide an alternate route between Hydraulic Road and Route 250.

Work could begin as early as 2015.

"We’re actually getting, one, the investments infused into the area so it's money into the area, it's been since 1995 since the U.S. 29 widening project that we've had millions of dollars invested in the area, and that's going to create some jobs locally, as well as keep some of that money here in the local economy,” said Albemarle Supervisor Brad Sheffield.

At least one citizen at the public hearing feared the board was rushing into a decision, but others have expressed their gratitude that the city, county and state have been working so well together to get these different plans united.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has declared the Route 29 process a high priority. The board added a few amendments to the projects it approved, including encouraging VDOT to be careful about the sequencing of the projects for minimal impact to businesses and encouraging robust public communication throughout the projects.

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