Construction is set to begin Monday on a new section of the U.S. 250 Bypass bicycle and pedestrian shared-use path. Once completed, the new portion of the trail will connect Hydraulic Road to Meadowbrook Heights Road, and the overall trail would connect through McIntire Park along the north side of the bypass to the John W. Warner Parkway.
According to a news release from Charlottesville’s parks and recreation department, existing sidewalk along the bypass will be transformed into a multi-use asphalt path. A retaining wall will also be built under the Dairy Road bridge to support extension of the trail to the intersection of Meadowbrook Heights Road.
Additionally, a crossing island refuge will be constructed at the U.S. 250 intersection with Meadowbrook Heights.
Linco Inc. — the company contracted to perform the project — anticipates construction to conclude by late August, coinciding with the start of the 2019-20 academic year. Chris Gensic, of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the construction’s timing seeks to avoid interference with school traffic.
“We know that the intersection of Meadowbrook Heights and [U.S.] 250 is very busy with school buses once school is in session,” Gensic said.
While the city anticipates the project will not impact vehicular traffic along the U.S. 250 Bypass, the sidewalk along the section will be temporarily unavailable to pedestrians.
The construction entrance at Meadowbrook Heights Road will lead to some temporary closures for motorists heading to the bypass from Grove Road; however, detours will be put into place during such closures. A second construction entrance will be installed at the Keith Valley Road dead end adjacent to the bypass.
Drivers seeking to access Hydraulic Road can use Meadowbrook Heights to King Mountain Road to Brandywine Drive. They also can use Dairy Road to Rugby Road to access the U.S. 250 Bypass near Hydraulic Road.
“I’m … excited about the vigorous progress on connectivity that I’m seeing around the area, including many sidewalk improvements, new trails and greenway sections,” Peter Krebs, of the Piedmont Environmental Council, said Friday in an email newsletter.
The section is the latest piece of the ongoing Route 250 Bypass project, which was first introduced as part of the City’s 2003 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. This part of the project is set to cost approximately $1 million. While the city has contributed 20% of that cost, the bulk of the project is financed through the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program.
“We’re leveraging local dollars by a factor of four to get these kinds of projects in place,” Gensic said.
Under the city’s bicycle, pedestrian and trail master plan, the U.S. 250 trail eventually will connect to a shared-use trail along Emmet Street. A portion of that trail is included in the proposed Emmet Streetscape project, which stretches from Ivy Road to Arlington Boulevard. Construction of the streetscape is slated to begin in May 2021.
Note: This article previously stated that a bridge on the trail across Meadow Creek at Hydraulic Road and Brandywine Drive will be rebuilt. This is incorrect, and the article has been changed to reflect this error.