Thursday, July 16, 2009

US Army Corps of Engineers agrees with Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park

The US Army Corps of Engineers notified the Virginia Department of Transportation that the Corps will not issue a permit allowing construction of McIntire Road Extended - one of the elements of the Meadowcreek Parkway project - because it lacks a logical southern terminus. [text of the letter is provided below] The Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park (CPMP) has been claiming that this lack of a logical terminus for McIntire Road Extended is inconsistent with federal highway regulations. CPMP and others have presented arguments to both Federal Highway Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers that the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road and McIntire Road Extended are in fact one project, not two independent projects, connecting Route 250 Bypass to Melbourne Road. The letter below indicates that the Corps of Engineers appears to agree with this claim.

It is not clear how this matter will be addressed by VDOT. If VDOT processes the roadway and interchange as one project, than the entire project connecting Route 250 Bypass and Melbourne Road will become a Federal-Aid Highway project and
will be subject to the National Environmental Policy Act, Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. These federal laws require a higher level of environmental analysis than has currently been done for McIntire Road Extended. We will all have to wait to see how VDOT responds to this letter, however. There have been many twists and turns in development of the Meadowcreek Parkway and there may be more surprises ahead.

As a member of CPMP, I am pleased that the Corps of Engineers has heard our claim and apparently agreed that McIntire Road Extended is not an independent project. Stay tuned for the next chapter in the Meadowcreek Parkway story.

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July 16, 2009

Eastern Virginia Regulatory Section
(08-4060-09) (Schenks Branch)
McIntire Road Extended U000-104-102, C501

Mr. Rick Crofford
District Environmental Manager
Virginia Department of Transportation, Culpeper District
1601 Orange Road
Culpeper, Virginia 22701-3819

Dear Mr Crofford:

This letter is in further reference to your joint permit application for McIntire Road Extended, in Charlottesville, Virginia (08-4060).

Based on all information we have received to-date, we have concluded that the project plans we are currently reviewing do not show a terminus at the southern end of McIntire Road. In order for us to continue our evaluation of the proposed McIntire Road Extension, the work must be a single and complete project with logical termini.

Please submit additional plans, including quantifications of any additional impacts to waters of the U.S., necessary to complete the project to a logical ending point. Once we receive this information, we will continue processing your application.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have questions, please call Ms. Kathy Perdue at (757) 201-7218.



J. Robert Hume, III
Chief, Regulatory Branch

Copies furnished:

Ms. Kathleen Kilpatrick, Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Dr. Ethel Eaton, Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Mr. Marc Holma, Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Ms. Angela Tucker, Development Services Department, City of Charlottesville
Mr. Michael Farrugio, Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Mr. David Benish, Albemarle County
Mr. John A. Cruickshank, Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club
Dr. Daniel Bluestone, Preservation Piedmont
Mr. Peter Kleeman, STAMP
Ms. Colette Hall, North Downtown Residential Association
Dr. Richard Collins
Ms. Mary A. R. Howard, Thomas Jefferson Branch, APVA/Preservation Virginia
Mr. James Shisler, Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Committee ...
Mr. Bob Hodous, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Randy Lichtenberger, VDOT Lynchburg District
Ms. Mary Ellen N. Hodges, VDOT Central Office
Mr. John Chiles, VDOT Culpeper District
Mr. Gregory E. Krystyniak, VDOT
Mr. D. Brent Sprinkel, VDOT Culpeper District
Mr. Chris Egghart, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

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