Putting the Pieces Together on Route 29
U.S. 29 deeply impacts our lives as residents of the Charlottesville-Albemarle community. It connects us to many of our favorite places to shop and eat. It links neighborhoods to important employers, and it connects the community to vital services.
But because U.S. 29 is often the only route that links those destinations together, at times it gets very congested. The problem impacts all of us, and we clearly need to fix it.
Our community has had a plan in place to do just that. Finally, after years of hard work, we have the funding and approvals needed to advance it. The Route 29 Solutions are already underway — $230 million worth of investment in a package of transportation projects that will significantly improve the U.S. 29 corridor. And like any good plan, the pieces all work together as part of a larger whole.
One key component is building parallel roads alongside U.S. 29 to establish a more robust street network along the corridor. This will give us new routes to get to our destinations on U.S. 29 without always having to use the highway.
But for the new network to work optimally, the main roads in it — Berkmar, Hillsdale, the John Warner Parkway and U.S. 29 — must interconnect. And a key junction will be the Rio Road/U.S. 29 intersection.
That intersection is often too congested to serve today’s traffic, let alone serve as a critical connection in an expanded street network. So an essential piece of the package is enhancing the functionality of this intersection so that it can serve as an efficient transfer point, now and in the future.
Please be wary of the misinformation some businesses have been spreading about the extent and duration of construction impacts. Our state and local leaders are working together to minimize disruption, and the Virginia Department of Transportation has rarely been so responsive to local recommendations. The long-term benefits to our community from these improvements will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience.
There will never be a better opportunity for our community to get these important projects done, and to get them done right. It’s time to move forward.