From roundabouts and green-Ts to no left turns and right turns only, big plans are being made for the area around Hydraulic Road and U.S. 29 and the Virginia Department of Transportation wants to hear feedback.
The multi-pronged $24 million project includes constructing a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 29 with bus stops and shelters near Zan Road and a roundabout at the Hillsdale Drive and Hydraulic Road intersection.
The proposals are designed to improve “the traveling experience” in the area and were worked out between VDOT staff in the Culpeper district and Albemarle County and City of Charlottesville officials.
The proposed projects stretch from the Hydraulic Road and U.S. 29 intersection to the Angus Road and U.S. 29 intersection at one end and Hydraulic Road and U.S. 250 to U.S. 29 at the other.
VDOT staff is holding a public meeting Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hillsdale Conference Center, located at 550 Hillsdale Drive. VDOT hasn’t said when construction on the project will begin.
At the public hearing, VDOT staff will discuss the proposals and answer questions. Attendees also will be able to review the proposals and learn about the next steps along with cost and travel impacts. Feedback can be submitted at the meeting or in writing.
The proposed changes including eliminating left turns from Hydraulic Road onto U.S. 29 for both northbound and southbound traffic and adding crossing options for pedestrians.
A multi-lane roundabout would replace the current traffic signal at Hydraulic Road and Hillsdale Drive. A right turn only lane, along with an extended multi-use trial, would move traffic from eastbound U.S. 250 onto Hydraulic Road northbound with a right-turn only lane onto Brandywine Drive and one lane of through traffic to Hillsdale Drive.
VDOT wants to reconstruct the Angus Road intersection as a continuous green-T intersection. That means drivers who want to turn left from Angus onto U.S. 29 northbound would watch for oncoming traffic from the left and use a channelized lane to merge onto U.S. 29 after passing through the intersection.
Drivers only have to look for oncoming traffic from the left instead of both directions due to the channelized lane
There would be no left turns from U.S. 29 onto Angus Road from either direction.
Local officials have been working for several years to make changes to the stretch of U.S. 29 at Hydraulic Road, citing safety and traffic flow issues.
The projects received funding in the most recent round of Smart Scale, which is the current primary method for funding large-scale transportation projects in Virginia.
A grade-separated intersection for the U.S. 29-Hydraulic Road intersection originally was preferred by an advisory panel, but about a year ago, it was ultimately decided to pursue smaller projects after the proposal was not funded in a prior Smart Scale round.
The changes can be viewed at https://virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/hydraulic-road-us29-improvements.asp. Written comments can be submitted by mail to Harold Jones, Project Manager, 701 VDOT Way, Charlottesville, VA 22911. Email comments can be sent to Harold.Jones@VDOT.Virginia.gov.
VDOT crews are also putting vehicular rubber on a new road, or at least a new traffic pattern at the intersection of Route 20, also called Stony Point Road, and Proffit Road.
Crews on or close to Tuesday will move traffic from the current two-way stop sign intersection to a new roundabout design, weather permitting.
Approaching motorists should slow down and be prepared to yield to traffic in the roundabout. New roadway line striping and permanent signage will guide traffic through the roundabout. Motorists should remain alert for daily flagging operations, which may be in operation as crews complete the center island and truck apron.
Construction began in July, 2021 to improve safety and efficiency of the intersection and is expected to be complete by August.