Supervisor Ken Boyd (Rivanna) asked for consideration of the Western 29 Bypass as part of the
Places29 master planning process
at today’s meeting of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Boyd expressed concern that, at this point in the planning process, the Ruckersville Parkway was getting consideration where the Western Bypass was not. He asked staff for assurances that the pros and cons of the Western Bypass would be evaluated as part of Places29 master plan.
Mr. Boyd also suggested there was a lot of inaccurate information being shared on the costs of the Western Bypass project. When
in January 2006, we used cost estimates that ranged from $157 million (VDOT) to $280 million (Chamber of Commerce, an advocate of the bypass). Those numbers received some healthy discussion today with input from VDOT’s Jim Utterback, who upped VDOT’s estimate to about $166 million. These figures, and the VDOT cost model, were challenged by Board Chairman Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett) who cited conversations with the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) that placed the cost close to $300 million over two years ago.
Staff informed the Board of Supervisors that the traffic
being developed as part of Places29 will factor in BOTH the options for a Western Bypass (at VDOTs insistence) and the Ruckersville Parkway in assessments of the plan’s recommendations for 29 North corridor. It was not clear, however, whether more significant consideration of the Western Bypass would actually be part of community discussions on the master plan or if it would just be assessed in the traffic models by the transportation consultants.
Supervisor David Slutzky (Rio) encouraged the Places29 master plan transportation study to also factor in consideration of the Eastern Connector and public transit options.
The Board of Supervisors reached consensus to raise these issues in their individual briefings on Places29 taking place in March and that, if it was felt necessary, a worksession could be scheduled in the future with Harrison Rue of the
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