CTB approves alignment of Berkmar Drive extension project

road-work-headerThe Commonwealth Transportation Board today approved the location of the proposed extension of Route 1403 (Berkmar Drive) in Albemarle County that will continue the  existing Berkmar Drive 2.3 miles north to Towncenter Drive.

The state transportation board approved Alternative A, which was endorsed by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and favored by members of the public who attended the location public hearing and provided comments on the three alternate routes presented.

The project is part of the Route 29 Solutions package and is being advanced in a design-build procurement that also includes the widening of Route 29 between Polo Grounds Road and Towncenter Drive and the grade-separated intersection at Rio Road and Route 29. It will build a new road running parallel to and west of Route 29 and will provide an alternate route for local traffic. The project, which includes a bridge spanning the South Fork Rivanna River and Rio Mills Road, is estimated to cost $54.5 million.

Approximately 70 people attended the location public hearing for the Berkmar Drive Extension project, which was held Sept. 18. The overwhelming majority of the public comments that expressed a preference for a specific alignment supported Alternative A. That alternative runs roughly parallel to Route 29 and avoids a residential property and minimizes impacts to the cultural resources identified by the environmental field investigations done during development of the alignment alternatives.

Public comment is currently being taken on the major design features of the Berkmar Drive Extension project as well as the other two design-build projects. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 24. More information about the project and the public comment opportunity is available on VDOT’s web site at www.Route29Solutions.org.

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