News | June 20, 2012

Opponents of 29 Bypass say premature contract is a bad deal

Following is a statement from Morgan Butler regarding today's vote by the Commonwealth Transportation Board to award a contact for the design and construction of the 29 Bypass in the Charlottesville region:

 “This is just the latest in a series of hasty and poorly informed decisions designed to rush this project ahead with minimal public review. The state and the federal government have yet to complete the crucial environmental review that could result in significant changes, or ultimately even a decision to forgo the bypass in favor of less expensive and more effective alternatives.

 “The board acted despite serious questions about whether it has allocated enough money to cover the property purchases, landscaping, and other considerable costs not included in the contract. And it acted despite indications that the bypass would generate new traffic problems that will require millions more in taxpayer dollars to fix.

“VDOT can only push the 29 Bypass so far before it runs into federal law. Despite today's contract award, the bypass can't be built without the federal government's approval.

“The public will at last be given a chance to see the proposed project design and provide its input on the bypass, its impacts, and better alternatives as part of the required federal review. Although VDOT has been going full speed for over a year, the most critical part of the process is just now getting started.”