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Route 29 Solutions Package  |  FAQs
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HOME FAQs

BACKGROUND

What are the Route 29 Solutions improvement projects?

What is the timeline for construction of the entire Route 29 Solutions package?

NEIGHBORHOOD ACCESS & IMPACTS

What is the County doing to mitigate construction impacts on area neighborhoods and residents?

Will access to my subdivision be restricted during construction?

What is being done to prevent cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods?

How will emergency responders (police, fire rescue) be impacted during construction?

How will school buses be impacted during construction?

CONSTRUCTION

Will Route 29 be closed during construction?

What stormwater management measures will be in place during construction?

DESIGN

What’s being done to make the Route 29 projects attractive and complement the Charlottesville surroundings?

What landscaping is planned for the Route 29 Solutions improvements projects?

What stormwater management measures will be in place after construction?

CONTACTS

If I have questions about specific project designs and the construction schedule, who do I contact?

Who should I contact to report non-emergency traffic safety or volume issues related to construction?

How can I arrange for someone to speak to my neighborhood about the Route 29 Solutions projects?

For questions about business signage during and after construction, who should I contact?

Who should I reach for questions about the Business Assistance Plan?


BACKGROUND

What are the Route 29 Solutions improvement projects?

These projects include the Route 29/250 Interchange (“Best Buy” ramp), extensions of Berkmar Drive and Hillsdale Drive, improvements to the Rio Road and Hydraulic Road intersections, widening of 29 between Polo Grounds Road and Towncenter Drive, and adaptive traffic signal technology. The Route 29 Solutions improvement projects will increase capacity and efficiency along Route 29, while providing alternate routes on parallel roads to help reduce congestion on Route 29.

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What is the timeline for construction of the entire Route 29 Solutions package?

The first project to begin construction, Phase I of the Adaptive Traffic Signal Technology project, broke ground on October 6, 2014. The final construction project will be Phase II of the Adaptive Traffic Signal Technology project and will proceed when the construction projects along Route 29 (Route 29/250 Interchange, Rio Road grade-separated intersection, Berkmar Drive Extension, Route 29 Widening) are complete in October 2017. The entire project is expected to be completed during Winter 2017.

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NEIGHBORHOOD ACCESS & IMPACTS

What is the County doing to mitigate construction impacts on area neighborhoods and residents?

Albemarle County, in coordination with VDOT, the City of Charlottesville, and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, has convened the Neighborhood Impact Mitigation committee to anticipate and mitigate impacts from the 29 Solutions projects in a coordinated way. The work has focused on aspects of public safety related to construction impacts, including cut-through traffic, emergency response, traffic and detours in and around the corridor, noise, and special events.  A series of actions has been identified to minimize impacts and respond to issues as they arise.

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Will access to my subdivision be restricted during construction?

Construction will be staged in order to maintain access to all subdivisions at all times.

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What is being done to prevent cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods?

During construction, wayfinding signage will be installed along the corridor that will direct through traffic to remain on Route 29. Phase I of the adaptive signal project, which was completed in June 2015, allows VDOT engineers to adjust signal timing in real-time to facilitate traffic flow along Route 29.

The County has identified the most likely areas for cut-through traffic based on the temporary median cuts, signals, and lane restrictions currently in the designs. VDOT and the Albemarle County Police Department have collected traffic count data in these areas along the corridor to establish a traffic volume baseline. VDOT and the County will also monitor traffic volumes in these areas during construction. Where cut-through traffic occurs, a series of measures may be deployed to prevent safety issues. These include the use of speed trailers and solar radar signs, enhanced speeding fines, and enforcement measures.

In advance of construction, enhanced speeding fines have been approved for Carrsbrook Drive.

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How will emergency responders (police, fire rescue) be impacted during construction?

The Emergency Communications Center (ECC), Albemarle County Police Department (ACPD) and Albemarle County Fire Rescue (ACFR) have been active in discussions with VDOT and County staff on construction impacts. Emergency response vehicles are equipped with preemption equipment that allows priority access for emergency vehicles at all of the intersections along Route 29. These will be maintained during construction and the temporary signal at Berkmar Drive also has this technology. Patrolmen, emergency responders, and the emergency communications center staff are being regularly briefed on changes to traffic flow.

Albemarle County Fire Rescue is working closely with the Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department to maintain adequate response times during the construction period. Fire Rescue staff estimate a response delay of about 25 seconds to calls for service accessed from East Rio Road. Steps are being taken to minimize the delay, including early activation of the preemption device at the temporary intersection at Berkmar Drive and Seminole Trail.  Response times are being monitored closely and if observed delays prove much greater, further measures to reduce response times may be necessary, such as a temporary emergency vehicle travel lane along Berkmar Drive and/or establishing a temporary emergency response team on the eastern side of Route 29.

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How will school buses be impacted during construction?

Albemarle County Public Schools Transportation Division is actively involved in discussions with VDOT to identify and mitigate disruption to school transportation.

During the Hillsdale North Extension construction, buses servicing the Branchlands neighborhood that transport students to Agnor Hurt, Burley, and Albemarle High School will be delayed up to 5 minutes from January 2016 to October 2017.

The restrictions on movement at the Rio Road intersection will occur between May 23 and September 2, 2016, which will have an estimated 2 weeks of overlap with the school calendar at the end of the 2015-2016 school year and at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. The projected impact on ride times is estimated to be no more than 5 minutes during those few days of overlap for the schools that have buses that travel through the Rio intersection (Agnor Hurt, Woodbrook, Burley, Jouett, Albemarle High School, and Ivy Creek School).

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CONSTRUCTION

Will Route 29 be closed during construction?

No! The contractor is required to maintain traffic flow on Route 29 in both directions throughout the construction of the entire Route 29 Solutions package. The greatest disruption will occur between May 23, 2016 and September 2, 2016, as part of the construction of the Rio Road grade separated intersection. During this period, three northbound lanes and two southbound lanes will be maintained at all times between 6 am and 9 pm. During overnight hours, additional lane closures will be permitted, but Route 29 will remain open in both directions. During that same period, left-hand turns and through traffic on Rio Road will be restricted at the Route 29 intersection. To learn more about how traffic will flow during that period, visit route29soutions.org.

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What stormwater management measures will be in place during construction?

During construction, the contractor will implement erosion and sediment controls in order to manage stormwater from the construction site.  

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DESIGN

What’s being done to make the Route 29 projects attractive and complement the Charlottesville surroundings?

Aesthetic treatments are planned for the Route 29 projects. Charlottesville and Albemarle County worked together to agree on a sound wall treatment and color at the Route 29/250 Bypass Interchange (“Best Buy Ramp”) that’s similar to the treatments for the McIntire Interchange in the City of Charlottesville. A number of aesthetic treatments are planned for the Rio Road/Route 29 intersection. They include: patterned wall, bridge, and color treatments similar to John Warner Parkway and McIntire Interchange that’s visible from all sides; open face barrier railing; vertical columns at specified intervals, and landscaping. The contractor will provide mock-ups for the PDAP to review before construction. Landscaping and bridge treatments are also included in the Route 29 Widening and Berkmar Extended projects.

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What landscaping is planned for the Route 29 Solutions improvements projects?

The contract includes provisions for landscaping on all the Route 29 Solutions projects, including a requirement that native trees and other plantings be used. The landscaping plan must be prepared by a licensed landscape architect and must be reviewed and approved by VDOT. Prior to VDOT approval the landscaping plan will also be reviewed by the Project Delivery Advisory Panel.

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What stormwater management measures will be in place after construction?

All VDOT projects are designed to be in compliance with all federal and state regulations for stormwater management. 

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CONTACTS

For questions or concerns about specific project designs and the construction schedule, please contact Joel DeNunzio, VDOT’s resident administrator in Charlottesville, by phone at 434-422-9373 or by email at Joel.DeNunzio@VDOT.Virginia.gov.

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To report non-emergency traffic safety or volume issues related to construction, please contact Sergeant Stoddard, Albemarle County Police Department, by phone at 434-243-7919.

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To arrange for someone to speak to your neighborhood about the Route 29 Solutions projects, please contact Emily Kilroy, Albemarle County’s Community Engagement Specialist, by phone at 434-296-5841 x 3422 or by email at EKilroy@Albemarle.org.

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For questions about business signage during and after construction, please contact Stewart Wright, Senior Permit Planner, by phone at 434-296-5832 x 3024 or by email at SWright@Albemarle.org.

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For questions about the Business Assistance Plan, please contact Susan Stimart, Economic Development Facilitator, by phone at 434-972-4016 or by email at SStimart@Albemarle.org.

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