Meadow Creek Parkway: Rubber hits road

The man touted as instrumental in getting what was long called the Meadow Creek Parkway built– or at least 1.4 miles of it– wasn't there. Former U.S. Senator John W. Warner, 84, checked into the hospital the night before the January 6 ribbon-cutting/unveiling of the portion of the road named in his honor.

Most of the speakers at the ceremony invoked Warner's name and how much he'd done for Charlottesville and Albemarle: the $27-million federal earmark for the parkway's unbuilt interchange that revived the aging project in 2005, the levees that keep the James River out of oft-flooded Scottsville, and National Ground Intelligence Center and its $2 billion payroll, which, according to former supervisor Forrest Marshall, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wanted to move to Maryland.

County officials, citizens, and even parkway opponents gathered at the East Rio Road end of the long-awaited Parkway, which first went on the books in 1967. The Albemarle Board of Supervisors put aside their quibbles for a day to celebrate the $11.8 million project that had full board support. Independent Dennis Rooker even joined Republicans Ken Boyd and Duane Snow in Snow's car for an inaugural ride, which many never expected to happen in their lifetimes.

"It's a beautiful day," quipped Delegate Rob Bell, "which is remarkable since hell has frozen over, and we'd expect a cold front."


much of this cover package was originally published online at 4:34pm on January 6, 2012

Three uneasy pieces John W. Warner Parkway Location: Albemarle County, from East Rio Road to Melbourne Road Length: 1.4 miles Cost: $24.3 million Construction began: February 2009 Completed: October 13, 2011 Opened: January 6, 2012 McIntire Road Extended Location: Charlottesville, from Melbourne to U.S. 250 bypass Length: .4 mile Cost: $9.482 million Construction began: August 2011 Estimated end: Summer 2013 Meadow Creek Parkway interchange Location: McIntire Road from Harris Street to 750 feet north of the US. 250 bypass Length: .5 mile Cost: $33 million Federal earmark: $24 million Estimated start: Late spring 2012 Estimated completion: late 2014 Total cost: $66.78 million Length: 2.3 miles ---->Price/mile: $29 million


...only 44 THAT'S progress...Ha!

I think tectonic plates move faster than that! Ha!

Taxpayer Way...............

To get the rest of built will probably take an act of Gawd, I mean Huja.

The whole thing is sickening, blasting a road through the lowest, wettest area of the largest green space left near downtown, but fear not road lovers, it will be built. That battle is over. Meanwhile the county and governor are squeezing the city while using it as a social dumping ground. NoVa has an even worse deal, but eventually the economically vibrant areas of the state will shake off the confederacy party, probably after one more, nightmarish run with a Gov. Cuccinelli.

The needed road was already built over 100 years ago, straight up the hill (Allwood Ln.), but moved to the current curvy configuration of Rio Rd. Houses filed in and now we are doing what people already knew 44 years ago was the worst thing to do to the little critters and budding flowers: split them up into pods by building new corridors. So much could have been done. The farm that sat sleepily along Rio for decades could have been a model farm of the nearby CATEC school. Instead it is the cheapskate mallville housing going up now there.

At one point most of city council lived around Park Street. Greedily they did not like the traffic.

on top of that, you won't get there any faster or more efficiently....................

We will get Cynthia Neff to come out strong against the road in the County and get Norris in the City to come up with 3 candidates against the road. This will be like a referendum on the road, and we are a clear majority and we will clean up and win in both the County and the City.

I took the new Parkway the other day, and can't see how it saves any time. You miss the light at Pen Park I guess. I have no idea why it was built, it is only two lane. So it only takes one person, going under 50 mph to slow everyone down. I tossed out an empty PBR can to christen the new Parkway properly.

@ Doyle Hargraves...I know, right?! I was expecting four lanes anyway! All that hoopla for a meandering two lane road with a bike lane? I saw the PBR can and I approve.

I took the road home from downtown last night in the rain. It was much better than dealing with the curves on Rio Rd.

So, if we name roads around here for those who got them through what will we name the 29 bypass? Boyd's Void?

RE: "I took the road home from downtown last night in the rain. It was much better than dealing with the curves on Rio Rd."

I've been taking it home every day since it opened.
It's nice not to have to wait froever behind 30 cars on Rio because someone is waiting forever to make a left across traffic into Stonehenge.
To all the haterz: Haha, Lovin' me some parkway !

I've traveled it both ways a dozen times it is faster I've ended up in front of the cars that took Rio. But in true crappy vdot/city/county engineering one auto crash, or a biker, or pedestrian gets creamed the road will be a cluster since there is no turn offs or proper size shoulder to move traffic around, a problem area. I hate to be the poor sole waiting for emergency help you just may bleed out waiting.

Widening the road is inevitable. The first part is just the tip of the wedge. Along with the widening of that section will come the widening of 5th/Ridge/McIntire including the bridge near the fire station unless we in the city elect councilors that are more concerned with the future of the city than pleasing county developers. The best way to preserve the walkability of downtown and reduce the traffic flow is to kill the idea of a road through the park once and for all.

This is why we are broke. 30 million dollars a MILE for a two lane road over a creek.

What many fail to realize is that there are people who own land that they pay taxes on and the government has a legal obligation to provide roads for them just as they did for YOU. An empty lot still pays taxes. Look at your tax bill and see what the land value is and that is about what your neighbor with the vacant lot pays... except his lot doesn't do anything but sit there. (as opposed to the 16k per year a kid in school costs.)

That road should have been built for 5 million TOPS.

No wonder the country is bankrupt.

Doyle Hargraves, if that's your name, you are THE MAN !
Each and every day we drive that monument to corruption we should trash it
just like they're doing to Rio Rd. and to the "western bypass" path.
Next time I get gas or groceries I'll lift a trash-bag of someone else's mess
and donate it.

Build them long Build them wide. You don't have to wait for them to come. We are already here!

It's pretty funny in a way, the emphasis on "saving the park". Pressure groups who should have no standing to sue invariably latch onto something extraneous in order to promote their true agenda, which in this case has nothing to do with saving valuable greenspace and everything to do with opposing all new road projects because they would like to promote some mad scheme for "alternative transportation" like light rail or more bike paths. The joke is this area is loaded with greenspace as one can readily see by taking one of the Boar's Head magic balloon rides, and the one being advanced for preservation is a strip of Kudzu, Poison Ivy, and briar infested bog land where the golfers who are the primary beneficiaries of that park never go anyway.
Stuff like this is made to order for Republicans to use as examples of how they are the only "grown up" option for governance in this country....