Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VDOT is silent on the McIntire Road Extended project

I visited the VDOT website describing project in the Culpeper District (in which all of Albemarle County and Charlottesville project fall) to see how the McIntire Road Extended project was characterized. To my surprise, there was no listing of this project in the VDOT online listing of current Culpeper Distsrict projects. The Meadow Creek Parkway project that runs north from Melbourne Road to Rio Road is listed as under construction. The VDOT description of this project states that the project "will connect with McIntire Road Extended at the Charlottesville city line, which will extend the new roadway alignment south to the Route 250 Bypass." This is consistent with the plans for McIntire Road Extended provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in VDOT's Corps Permit application dated August 7, 2009. But, there is no listing of the McIntire Road Extended as a current project. The Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project is listed as a proposed project that "currently includes preliminary engineering (design) only."

But, there is no independent listing for McIntire Road Extended where VDOT describes the project. Perhaps VDOT doesn't want to state clearly if the project includes an at-grade intersection (as the plans provided to the Corps of Engineers indicate) or if the project starts 775 feet north of Route 250 Bypass as the most recent plans provide me by VDOT indicate. VDOT is apparently silent on this issue.

Also, I have telephoned the project contact at VDOT several times in the last two weeks by telephone leaving a voice message asking what the current plans are for McIntire Road Extended but I have not gotten a response of any kind from VDOT in response to my inquiries.

The VDOT Six-Year Improvement Program lists the project description as going "FROM: ROUTE 250 BYPASS AT MCINTIRE ROAD TO: MELBOURNE ROAD INTERSECTION (0.5200 KM)." This would be consistent with what has been provided to the Corps of Engineers, but the Charlottesville-Albemarle Transportation Improvement Program describes the project as "FROM: 0.147 MILES [775 feet] N. OF RT. 250 BYPASS TO 0.004 MILES S OF MELBOURNE RD INTERSECTION (0.8600 KM)," consistent with the most recent VDOT plans I received.

When will VDOT clarify this for us all? If I don't get any response from the project managers in the next day or two, I will be consacting the Secretary of Transportation to see if I can get some feedback. I will post the true limits and description of this project when VDOT provides me one. Meanwhile, the Charlottesville City Council is contemplating granting an easement to Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority based on the project not including an at-grade intersection. An additional sewer easement would be required if the project includes the at-grade intersection. I urged the city council not to grant any easements until the true description of the project is revealed and all necessary planning decisions are made about how the road will actually connect to Route 250 Bypass (at-grade or at an interchange) - or if there will be a road at all.

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