CTB approves funds for Charlottesville bypass

The Commonwealth Transportation Board today allocated funding for construction of the Route 29 Charlottesville Western Bypass in Albemarle County. The CTB amended its Six-Year Improvement Program to provide $197 million for construction of the Western Bypass and an additional $33 million to widen Route 29 to six lanes from the South Fork Rivanna River north to Hollymead.

“Allocation of construction funding for the Charlottesville Western Bypass is a major milestone that will move this project forward and help to ensure the viability of the Route 29 transportation corridor into the future,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement. “The project will also provide major benefits for Charlottesville and Albemarle County by reducing congestion along the Route 29 corridor north of Charlottesville and providing an alternate route that will more efficiently move regional traffic, including commercial freight, to its destination.”

The Western Bypass project will build a new 6.2-mile, four-lane, limited-access roadway stretching from Route 29 just north of the South Fork Rivanna River to the Route 29/250 Bypass. The project includes interchanges at both termini to move traffic between Route 29 north and Route 29/250 west of Charlottesville.

Traffic using the bypass will avoid 14 traffic signals along the Route 29 corridor north of Charlottesville. The new road will also provide an alternate route for motorists heading to the University of Virginia’s Grounds via Leonard Sandridge Road, which will be connected to the Bypass by an interchange at its southern terminus.

The second project funded by the CTB’s amendment will add an additional lane in each direction on Route 29 between the current eight-lane section that ends at Polo Grounds Road and the six-lane section at Hollymead. That construction will also improve the alignment and sight distances on the northbound lanes south of Ashwood Boulevard.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will begin updating the bypass project’s engineering and survey documents and complete the design of the northern interchange at Route 29. VDOT will also continue the design work already under way to widen Route 29 north of the South Fork Rivanna River.

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