Albemarle Supervisors Disagree about Order of 29 Improvements

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Albemarle supervisors are trying to draft a resolution to send to the Virginia Department of Transportation regarding the Route 29 improvement projects, but there's some disagreement among the board about several parts.

Supervisor Ken Boyd disagreed with the rest of the board on several points. He says the order of the projects doesn't make sense to him, and the tone of the resolution needs to be more firm.

With Route 29 construction looming on the horizon, supervisors are worried how an intersection at the center of it all will fare.

Supervisor Brad Sheffield said, "With the opening of the John Warner Parkway there will be about 6,000 new cars turning on and off of Rio Road, and that's a whole new traffic dynamic that we have to deal with.”

But supervisors disagree on what recommendation to send to VDOT. Boyd says they should start with Berkmar and Hillsdale drives.

"Logically to me it seems at least building the parallel roads so that people have an alternate route during the construction would be the best approach to the least impact on our citizens,” Boyd said.

But other supervisors disagree. Sheffield says building those roads would only put more pressure on the intersection before it is prepared to handle it. "Berkmar and Hillsdale are not parallel to the Rio intersection; they're parallel to US 29, but not the intersection. They actually intersect at the Rio intersection,” Sheffield said.

Boyd also thinks the current resolution doesn't defend the county's future input firmly enough.

"It was basically saying we're glad to participate and we want to be involved and we think it's terrific what you're doing. That was not the tone that I really had or wanted to have,” he said.

Sheffield says he doesn't interpret it that way, and is confident VDOT will understand public input will be necessary at every step of the process.

"We will be letting VDOT know that this community will be engaged. It's not a choice; it's a requirement of us moving forward,” Sheffield said.

Supervisors will be taking up the resolution again on August 26. Until then, each is separately reviewing the existing copy and developing recommendations for what will finally be sent to VDOT.

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