Snap o' the Day: Rio trees felled for parkway

Drivers along busy Rio Road got an eyeful Friday, February 20, as at least half a dozen mature trees were felled to make way for the connection to Albemarle County's 1.4-mile segment of the planned Meadowcreek Parkway. Locally-based Faulconer Construction won the job with the low bid of $11.8 million.

In early December, a curious Hook reporter, intrigued by the suggestion by the local Chamber of Commerce that all bids–- which ranged from $11.8 to $17.2 million–- fell within the engineer's estimate, asked for such estimate. However, in a December 12 letter, VDOT pointed out that such estimates are specifically exempt from disclosure under section 2.2-3705.7 (4) of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Faulconer is not only building the two-lane road from Rio Road south to the Charlottesville city limits at Melbourne Road, it will also build a new bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, and the company will rebuild a portion of Rio Road.

The city’s portion of the Parkway, dubbed McIntire Road Extended, will be advertised for construction bids this year.

A third piece of the puzzle, replacing the at-grade intersection between McIntire Road and Route 250 Bypass with a swanky new grade-separated interchange tapping into the new Parkway, is also under development by the city of Charlottesville with bid advertisement scheduled for early next year.

–last updated February 25 at 3:25pm