This month all of Albemarle’s seven advisory committees have been briefed on transportation projects from the county’s planning staff. In recent years, Albemarle has been successful at securing money for projects, such as the conversion of the Route 151 and U.S. 250 intersection to a roundabout.
On March 8, 2022, the Crozet Community Advisory Committee had their turn. Planning Manager Kevin McDermott explained how the process works in Albemarle.
“We regularly update a list of transportation priorities and this list basically is every project that’s been identified,” McDermott said. (read the list)
Those projects are identified in master plans, small area plans, corridor plans, and so on.
“And then we evaluate all of those projects based on a set of metrics which we think kind of capture, really, the needs of a transportation system,” McDermott said. “Those include measuring for safety, congestion, economic development, accessibility, land use, and environmental impact.”
That ranking system is similar to the one used by the Virginia Department of Transportation in their Smart Scale process. That’s one of many sources of revenue for transportation projects and McDermott said the priority list is used to help position projects for applications. For the past few years, Albemarle has used a capital fund called “transportation leveraging” that is used to come up with local matches for major projects.
Other sources include a revenue sharing program with VDOT and a Transportation Alternatives program for projects for non-motorized users of the public realm.
“These projects are things that would cost definitely under a million and it requires a twenty percent local match,” McDermott said.
Major projects in the Crozet area include the southern extension of Eastern Avenue (#8). That’s been a plan on paper for many years, but when it came time to apply for funding the cost estimates were out of date.
“And so we decided to move forward with an engineering study using local funding and so that engineering study also looked at the potential locations of Eastern Avenue,” McDermott said.
The county will find out in April if VDOT will award funds to the Eastern Avenue project, which could have a cost around $25 million.
Other projects in the area include conversion of U.S. 250 and Virginia Route 240 to a roundabout and a Smart Scale application for a roundabout at Old Trail Drive and U.S. 250 at Western Albemarle High School.
The priorities will be reexamined as part of Albemarle’s ongoing review of the Comprehensive Plan, including new projects suggested in the recent update of the Crozet Master Plan.
Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the March 22, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.