Lou Hatter 434-529-6314
Jan. 19, 2017
SECRETARY LAYNE ANNOUNCES RT. 29-HYDRAULIC RD. STUDY
Advisory panel will consider future land use planning, potential transportation improvements
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne announced today that a land use and transportation planning study of the Route 29-Hydraulic Road and Hillsdale Drive-Hydraulic Road intersections and surrounding areas will begin in March.
An advisory panel of representatives from the city of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, local businesses and other stakeholders will develop the land use and transportation improvement plans over the next 18 months. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Commission will be responsible for managing the land use portion of the study, while the Virginia Department of Transportation will manage the transportation component.
“The Hydraulic Road small area plan will be conducted in two phases with guidance and input from an advisory panel just as we worked collaboratively with advisory panels during the past two and a half years,” Layne told the Route 29 Solutions Project Delivery Advisory Panel during its meeting in Charlottesville.
“The current Project Delivery Advisory Panel has provided recommendations and guidance that significantly improved the projects and minimized the inconvenience to those who live and work along Route 29,” Secretary Layne said. “Through the leadership of Governor Terry McAuliffe, with community involvement through the panel members and the commitment to excellence from VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick, his VDOT project team and the contractor, more progress has been made in improving the Route 29 corridor in the Charlottesville area in the past three years than in the previous 30 years.
“This new panel will follow that successful model and I expect that their efforts will again be valuable as we develop a land use plan and transportation improvements for this critical intersection and the surrounding geographical area,” Layne said.
The panel’s work will be done in two phases. The first will focus on development of a small area land use plan for the intersections and the surrounding area, including the proposed Hillsdale Drive South connection south of Hydraulic Road that is included in the Route 29 Solutions package. That future land use plan will require coordination between Albemarle County and Charlottesville since the city’s northern boundary cuts through the intersection and three of the four quadrants are within the city limits. The northwest quadrant and the section of Route 29 north of the intersection are in Albemarle County.
The second phase will involve transportation planning on the roadway network, including Route 29, Hydraulic Road, Hillsdale Drive and the Route 250 Bypass. “That work will consider reasonable transportation alternatives, including the option of doing nothing, that can improve mobility and accessibility in the area by supporting future anticipated land uses,” Layne said.
“It is important to emphasize,” Secretary Layne continued, “that the land use decisions will be made by the city, county and the MPO. There are no preconceived solutions or presumptions here. We are kicking off a process at the MPO’s request; the outcome of that process remains to be seen.”
The land use and transportation planning work will be funded by money allocated to a study of the Route 29-Hydraulic Road intersection included in the Route 29 Solutions project package. That study was originally scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2018 but was advanced at the request of the MPO Policy Board.
The study schedule anticipates having the small area land use plan complete and any recommendations for transportation improvements finalized in the summer of 2018. That timetable will allow the localities to prepare applications for the next round of Smart Scale project scoring in September 2018.
More information about the Route 29 Solutions projects can be found on the website: www.Route29Solutions.org. Information about upcoming lane closures and other traffic impacts, as well as news about the projects, is posted on website’s News and Traffic Alerts page.
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