Charlottesville councilors reconsider parking garage, fund Belmont Bridge

Charlottesville councilors reconsider parking garage, fund Belmont Bridge
Charlottesville's Belmont Bridge seen from Skycam29 (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council is showing support for the replacement of the Belmont Bridge, but a proposed parking garage will be shelved for now. Both items were on Monday evening’s consent agenda.

Parking Plans

Council wants to consider other options to the proposed multi-million dollar garage that would stretch from 7th to 9th Street on the sites of a parking lot, the current Lucky 7 convenience store and Guadalajara restaurant. Council had previously approved the project in December 2019.

The city already purchased a portion of the East Market surface lot from Albemarle County to clear the way for the project which is connected to a deal with Albemarle County that would keep its courts downtown.

The decision to consider other options calls into question next steps for the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the city and county for a joint Courts Complex to house general district courts at the site of the Levy Opera House.

Belmont Bridge

The Belmont Bridge replacement project is getting additional funding now that council approved $4,280,739 of state funding. That will be used as a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses.

The longer the project takes to complete, the more expensive staff expect it could become. Councilors received those budgetary details during a meeting in May.

COVID-19 Update

Council also received what is its final scheduled update from the Blue Ridge Health District about the status of COVID-19 in the city. Dr. Denise Bonds reviewed the continuing trend of fewer cases and plans to continue to fight the virus in the future.

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