Charlottesville will be reviewing how it works with VDOT

Since 2005, The City of Charlottesville has planned and administered construction of transportation projects within city limits as part of something called the First Cities program or the Urban Construction Initiative. This includes major projects such as the Belmont Bridge replacement currently underway, and extends to the many Smart Scale projects for which the city has received dozens of millions of dollars in funding.

This week, Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders told City Council on Monday that this arrangement is under review.

“Our leadership and project management teams are completing a review of our [Virginia Department of Transportation] program ahead of a deep dive with VDOT that’s scheduled fot later this month,” Sanders said. “We anticipate some changes that we’ll be bringing to Council in regards to how we manage those projects going forward.”

Last year, City Council agreed to withdraw local money required to match state funds awarded to the West Main Streetscape and to put this local dollars toward to renovations of Buford Middle School. 

Sanders said the city has begun work with the firm EPR on a study of Fifth Street Extended to inform a new Smart Scale application for the next round. Community meetings may be held later this month but definitely by May. Council will get a presentation at their meeting on May 16. 

Dairy Road bridge

There is no local match necessary for the pending replacement of a bridge that carries Dairy Road over the U.S. 250 bypass. VDOT has provided $7.2 million in funding to replace the bridge from a pot of money called State of Good Repair. Tony Edwards is the Development Services Manager in the Charlottesville Public Works Department. 

“It received a condition rating of 4 for the deck, and therefore qualifies for the SGR funding,” Edwards said. “In 2015 the sidewalk was replaced by a separate bike and pedestrian bridge next to the original structure which will provide public access during construction.” 

The design phase will now begin and a public hearing for that phase will be held at some point in the future.  

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 April 8, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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