Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road development schedule hard to follow

I just visited the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road website to check on the schedule of project development and the posted schedule (in table below) was last updated January 16, 2009. None of the "Future Project Milestones" noted have been achieved to date. I suppose that the schedule needs to be pushed back at least eight months. Some activity on developing a draft section 106 Memorandum of Agreement has occurred, but both the Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) liaison to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) are not in agreement with the draft submitted by FHWA. It appears that FHWA is not willing to even discuss further consideration of the draft Memorandum of Agreement in spite of urging by the ACHP and others (including the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park). Be sure to read the Daily Progress article entitled "Historic preservation body questions parkway’s effect" in today's (Sept. 1, 2009) newspaper on this issue by Rachanna Dixit.

Completed Project Milestones
November 1, 2007 NEPA Environmental Public Hearing
April 21, 2008 Charlottesville City Council Public Hearing
August 18, 2008 Council Selection of Preferred Alternative
Future Project Milestones
Spring 2009 Design Public Hearing/Revised Environmental Assessment/Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement
Spring / Summer 2009 City Council Design Approval
Summer 2009 Commonwealth Transportation Board Approval
Summer / Fall 2009 Right of Way Approval
Spring 2010 Advertisement
Summer 2010 Begin Construction

The Virginia Department of Transportation is pushing forward building the Meadow Creek Parkway north of Melbourne Road, seeking a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit and a permanent utility easement necessary to begin construction of the McIntire Road Extended project in McIntire Park, yet little progress is being made as I see it on the historic resource issue. Both the McIntire Road Extended and Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road projects are considering how to avoid or mitigate anticipated effects on properties eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The process is not nearing a signed Memorandum of Agreement and how this process will move forward is not clear to me. Stay tuned.

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