Charlottesville City Council moves forward measure to give Belmont Bridge project more money

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 9:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Construction could start on the Belmont Bridge within the next several weeks and on Monday night, Charlottesville City Council started thinking about giving the project more money.

The $31 million bridge replacement project could be a little more expensive if council does approve spending just over $4 million in state funding to go toward unforeseen expenses and inspections.

It could mean construction can start as early as late June.

“We looked at ways that we could possibly lower the cost,” said Jeannette Janiczek, the project manager. “And lowering the cost would result in large changes in the project.”

Those changes could be removing the pedestrian overpass or completely shutting down the bridge during construction.

Janiczek and her team say council should approve the spending.

“If there were indeed any change orders, that too would be covered,” she said.

City Manager Chip Boyles also suggested council approve the contingency money. He says the cost of construction could go up if President Biden’s infrastructure bill makes it through congress. Then, there would be tons of demand for project-related labor and materials.

“If this had to be rebid I would say that we would end up with less product and at least the same amount if not more of the cost,” Boyles said.

Council will vote on the spending during its next meeting on June 7. It will be on the consent agenda.

Boyles also shared some additional city government news during Monday’s meeting. Charlottesville has hired a deputy city manager of operations. The newcomer will be coming from Baton Rouge, Louisana. Boyles also announced that the interviewing process will begin soon for directors of both the Police Civilian Review Board and the Human Rights Commission.

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