Construction began in late May on two projects along U.S. Highway 29 in the vicinity of Interstate 64, south of Charlottesville, Va. Both projects will improve safety and more efficiently move traffic through the heavily traveled sections of both I-64 and U.S. 29.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), one project will reconfigure the I-64 interchange with U.S. 29, eliminating the loop ramp from southbound U.S. 29 to I-64 eastbound.
The current ramp configuration results in two "weave" conditions with cars entering and exiting I-64 and has been identified as a factor in numerous crashes over the past few years.
The loop ramp will be replaced with dual left-turn lanes on southbound U.S. 29 onto the ramp that now serves northbound U.S. 29 to eastbound I-64 traffic. With the planned improvements both weave movements will be eliminated.
The second enterprise will add an option lane – a thru/right-merge lane – at the Fontaine Avenue exit from northbound U.S. 29. This road work will reduce current weaving issues and remove conflict points for vehicles exiting U.S. 29 onto Fontaine Avenue.
Both projects will be built throughout the summer, with construction scheduled for completion in September. The first activity at each of the job sites is the clearing work.
Together, these two projects encompass the first phase of a six-project package of improvements to Albemarle County roads in a $28.5 million design-build contract awarded to Curtis Contracting Inc. of West Point. Wallace Montgomery of Vienna, Va. is providing design services for the highway upgrades.
The remaining four projects in the area will be constructed in two additional phases. Their designs will create:
- A diverging diamond interchange at the U.S. 250 exit from I-64 at Pantops
- Roundabouts at U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 151 (Critzers Shop Road) at Afton
- Another roundabout at Va. Route 20 (Stony Point Road) and Va. Route 649 (Proffit Road)
- A connector road between Berkmar Drive and Rio Mills Road just north of the South Fork Rivanna River.
The VDOT said construction of all six projects will be wrapped up in the spring of 2023.
For more information, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/albdesignbuild.asp