Rio Mills Connector opens in Albemarle County
The quarter-mile long two-lane extension runs from the existing Rio Mills Road east to Berkmar Drive, and includes a paved multi-use trail. The trail connects to existing bike lanes, sidewalk and a multi-use path on Berkmar Drive.
With the new road open to traffic, the existing section of Rio Mills Road from the new connection south to Millers Cottage Lane, a private road just north of the South Fork Rivanna River, is closed to traffic. That 0.6 mile section of narrow, unpaved road is not suitable for the volume of traffic, including heavy truck traffic from the Luck Stone Corp. Rivanna Plant quarry, which is using it to connect from Route 743 (Earlysville Road) to U.S. 29.
Local traffic will still be able to access the Rivanna River boat launch area just west of U.S. 29 and all private residences along Rio Mills Road maintain access from either end of the road.
The Rio Mills connector project is one of six improvement projects in a $28.5 million design-build bundled contract with Curtis Contracting Inc., of West Point, Va. The Rio Mills project cost $2.9 million. The other projects include the interchange improvements at U.S. 29 and Interstate 64, Exit 118 and improvements to the Fontaine Avenue exit from U.S. 29 north, both of which are substantially complete.
The diverging diamond interchange on U.S. 250 at I-64 Exit 124 is under construction. Two roundabouts, at Route 20 (Stony Point Road) and Route 649 (Proffit Road) and U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 151 (Critzers Shop Road) will begin construction later this summer. The contract completion date for all six projects is February 2023.
Current traffic conditions and other real-time travel information can be found on the 511 Virginia website, the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. VDOT updates are also on Facebook and the district’s Twitter account, @VaDOTCulp.