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Road projects in Albemarle to be accelerated

Increased state and federal funding is putting a number of area transportation projects on a fast-track for construction.

Construction of three roundabouts at the intersection of Routes 20 and 53, the intersection of Old Lynchburg Road and Fifth Street Extended and the intersection of Rio Road and the John W. Warner Parkway are now expected to start in 2023, according to the revised plan.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board earlier this month approved a revised six-year program for road, bridge, rail and transit projects that moves up the timeline of many projects in Albemarle County that had been funded last year in the state’s Smart Scale program.

Construction on the projects now is expected to start between 2022 and 2025, depending on what year funding is allocated.

Jessica Hersh-Ballering, the county’s principal planner for transportation, told the county Board of Supervisors at a recent meeting that in February county staff will be asking the board to review and sign agreements from the Virginia Department of Transportation for the projects.

“We’re required to sign these agreements because our applications included a commitment of local funds for each project,” she said.

VDOT also wants to combine into a single construction contract a project to close most of the open median on the U.S. 250 corridor in the Pantops area with another project to make changes at the intersection of Route 20 and U.S. 250.

“That would make all the construction in that area happen at one time,” said Hersh-Ballering. “It would maximize efficiencies related to construction costs and it would reduce disruption to road users.”

Additional projects that were funded last year and revised construction start years include improvements at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Hydraulic Road and interchange improvements at Fontaine Avenue and the U.S. 29 Bypass.

A shared-use path on U.S. 29 from Carrsbrook Drive to Riverside Center and a park-and-ride lot at Exit 107 off Interstate 64 are being bumped up as is a trail hub and trails along Fifth Street.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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