Cost increases to connect Berkmar Drive Extended to Airport Road

Earlier in the meeting during a discussion of Albemarle’s Secondary Six Year Plan, Supervisors also learned about another project that will be paid for in part by TeleFee Funds, which are paid by utility companies to the Virginia Department of Transportation for placement of infrastructure in the right of way. 

There’s a plan to connect Berkmar Drive to airport road north of Hollymead Town Center.

“Currently the road goes through at a roundabout at Timberwood Boulevard and stubs out shortly afterward but will connect to Airport Road and Lewis and Clark Drive at another roundabout,” said Alberic Karina-Plun, a planner with Albemarle County. 

A kick-off meeting for the project has taken place, but the cost of the project has risen.

“As design progressed, a shortfall in the funding was identified,” Karina-Plun said. “Staff is currently working with VDOT with how to address that shortfall.” 

The estimate for the project is now $17 million, up from $11 million. It’s still a priority for Supervisor Ned Gallaway who pointed out that the Places29 Master Plan called for the Berkmar Drive Extended. 

“I get it, the prices have increased but we can’t punt,” Gallaway said. “That project has got to get done. The whole parallel nature of running Berkmar up there and we’ve got some big development projects that are going to come out there.”

One of those projects is a rezoning at the University of Virginia Foundation’s North Fork Discovery Park. The foundation paid $6 million to upgrade Lewis and Clark Drive to extend it southward to Airport Road. 

Acting planning director Kevin McDermott said staff is working to identify a solution to connect the pieces together.

“We’re looking to try to figure out how the schedule will work with the funding,” McDermott said. “I hope to be able to be able to keep that on a schedule that keeps it done before 2029.” 

McDermott said the UVA Foundation is aware of the shortfall. 

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 12, 2023 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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