The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) published its Fall 2009 Case Digest describing several projects including the "New Interchange and Road Extention in Charlottesville." This publication describes ACHP involvement in both the McIntire Road Extended and Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road projects that have impacts on historic resources in and around the eastern portion of McIntire Park. Several historic resources on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places will be impacted by the proposed road and interchange projects and the ACHP is involved in developing a Memorandum of Agreement on treatment of these resources with both the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps. The image above is taken from the Case Digest and is a view of the rock wall at Rock Hill Garden - one of the impacted historic resources.
It is my understanding that the ACHP is in the process of coordinating the development of an agreement among all the local, state and federal agencies involved in the projects stipulating how the historic resources are to be treated if the projects move forward. But, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has disregarded this ongoing activity required under Section 106 or the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended and advertised for construction of the McIntire Road Extended project. To me this illustrates clearly VDOT's lack of concern for historic resources in its project development process. The Section 106 process on both the road and interchange projects wasn't initiated until very late in the project development and VDOT and the City of Charlottesville are moving their projects forward without considering findings of this effort.
I am very interested to see how the ACHP, the State Historic Preservation Officer of Virginia and other stakeholders in this process will react to actions by both VDOT and the City of Charlottesville. Suprisingly, Charlottesville's City Council approved signing a Memorandum of Agreement on the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project that to my knowledge has not yet been completed, primarily on the statement of Owen Peery, the project manager for the City's engineering consultant - RK&K Engineers - that all signatories to the agreement are prepared to sign and encouraged city councilors to approve a document that they have not even seen. This is a shocking situation and appears not to be in compliance with many federal and state regulations relating to historic preservation.
I have sent letters to both ACHP and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers project leaders seeking reaction to VDOTs action and inquiring if this action is even legitimate at this state of the Section 106 process. I am awaiting their responses.