Fall 2023 date current target for roadway entrance to Biscuit Run Park
It has been nearly 12 years since the Commonwealth of Virginia purchased nearly 800 acres in Albemarle County’s growth area for the purposes of creating a state park. The land had been slated for the Biscuit Run mixed-use development, but the previous developer found a buyer in then-Governor Tim Kaine.
It has been nearly five years since the Commonwealth of Virginia entered into a ground lease with Albemarle for the county to program the 1,200 acre park, an agreement signed by then Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2018.
McAuliffe had requested a $42 million bond package during the 2016 General Assembly but that did not make it through to passage. That would have paid for at least some of a master plan to program the park.
At the time the county accepted the park, they had expected to use $5 million in mitigation funds from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for programming. However, that project has since been canceled. That’s meant the county has had to invest its own funds to open the park on a limited basis known as Phase 1A and Phase 1B. From page 296 of the FY23 budget:
“Elements of these phases include: a park entrance with an asphalt access road; parking spaces; a vault toilet; design and construction of a parks maintenance facility; multi-use trail system expansion including new trail boardwalk and footbridges; and connector greenway trail enabling bike and pedestrian connections with destinations beyond the park itself.”
The main element in Phase1A is the park’s entrance from Route 20. Design has been underway for some time and at one point this phase had been expected to be complete by the end of 2021.
However, according to a new report from the county’s Department of Facilities and Environmental Services, the Virginia Department of Transportation needs to sign off on the schematics and additional survey work has been conducted in order for a waiver to be granted.
“The design team is currently working on field survey to finalize the waiver submission, County site plan, and Water Protection Ordinance plan submissions,” reads page 12 of the Fall 2022 report.
The report states the goal is to advertise for a company to perform grading work for the project this year with construction starting early next year with a “substantial completion” date of next fall.
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