Drivers Advised to Find Alternate Route During Slope Work on Rt. 53 in Albemarle Co.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Drivers should expect traffic troubles on a busy Albemarle County byway. A portion of Route 53 is down to one lane during the day for the next three weeks.
Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation are working to stabilize the ground beside and underneath the roadway in a well-traveled spot close to Charlottesville.
The work zone is between Michie Tavern and the entrance to Monticello. This is the third and final phase of a larger project VDOT has been working on the same area to help prevent erosion, which can pose safety issues.
“If that ground were to erode over time, eventually it would begin to affect the travel lanes, which would mean we would have to close Route 53. So this is preventive measure for us to ensure that the ground is stable, and so that we can keep Route 53 open to traffic,” said VDOT Spokesperson Will Merritt.
The road is set to be down to one lane from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with work expected to be completed by November 26.
There is no official VDOT detour in place because the road is still open.
The Virginia Department of Transportation does recommend drivers find a way around the work area, especially during the afternoon commute. That may mean getting on Interstate 64 and taking the Shadwell exit, and working your way down from there.
Release from the Virginia Department of Transportation:
CULPEPER — Motorists traveling on Route 53 (Thomas Jefferson Parkway) in Albemarle County are advised to plan extra travel time and to expect delays in November while the Virginia Department of Transportation works on the slope adjacent to the travel lanes.
Route 53 will be reduced to one lane controlled by flagging operations between Michie Tavern Lane and Monticello Loop from Nov. 4-26. Work is scheduled Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The work is necessary to stabilize the steep slope adjacent to the westbound travel lane to protect Route 53.
Message boards are already in place to notify motorists of the upcoming work. Any adjustments to the work schedule will be announced.