Work begins on Meadowcreek Parkway

After decades of debates, petitions, public and not-so-public meetings, the Meadowcreek Parkway is finally becoming a reality. A crew is making way for the much fought-over connector by cutting down trees and moving utility poles on Rio Road– the first actual, physical work ever done to bring to fruition plans for the road that will run from the intersection of McIntire Road and 250 to Rio Road near Dunlora and CATEC.

"Right now we're completing utility relocations, making the final land acquisitions, and advertising for bids for the project, and we expect to break ground in spring 2009," says VDOT spokesperson Lou Hatter.

In all, the project will cost $68.5 million in city, county, state, and federal funding, with the most expensive component being the new interchange at 250 and McIntire. Sen. John Warner (R) secured a $29.5 million federal earmark for that in 2005.

If all construction moves according to schedule, motorists could be driving on the new road as early as spring 2012.

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3 comments

The Hook reported that ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??Work Begins on the Meadowcreek Parkway.¢Ã¢â??¬ But, this is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, at least at this moment in time. Utility work is underway in Albemarle County, but what actually is the Meadowcreek Parkway? There are three independent projects that seem to get bundled under the name Meadowcreek Parkway, but they are all officially considered to be independent projects. These are (1) Meadow Creek Parkway - a road connecting Melbourne Road to Rio Road that is totally in Albemarle County; (2) McIntire Road Extended ¢Ã¢â??‰â?¬Å? a road connecting Route 250 Bypass to Melbourne Road that runs through McIntire Park; and (3) Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road ¢Ã¢â??‰â?¬Å? an interchange that would replace the current intersection of Route 250 Bypass at McIntire Road and replace the at-grade intersection with McIntire Road Extended if it gets constructed.

Both McIntire Road Extended and the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road projects are still in the preliminary engineering phase and have not yet been approved for either right-of-way acquisition or construction. The Hook article lumps these three independent projects into one and gives a false impression that all of these projects are moving forward now. As best I can determine, only the roadway between Melbourne Road and Rio Road (Meadow Creek Parkway) has completed preliminary engineering, is currently in right-of-way acquisition, and may soon be approved for construction. But, I just checked VDOT's current Six-Year Improvement Program and can't find the necessary funding listed to complete the project.

I agree that the use of multiple names for these projects leads to confusion and the Hook really needs to refer to the details more specifically. In fact, a February 15, 2008 letter from the Federal Highway Administration to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources associated with the interchange project refers to the proposed roadway between Melbourne Road and Rio Road as ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??the Albemarle County portion of the McIntire Road Extension project¢Ã¢â??¬ and links this with ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??the City portion of the McIntire Road Extension,¢Ã¢â??¬ adding a new dimension of confusion to this already confusing collection of names.

I suggest that the Hook take a closer look at which projects are actually moving forward and provide a better and more accurately described glimpse into what if any roadway construction is imminent in or north of McIntire Park. It is time to clear rather than add to the confusion.

Yes, Thanks Peter.

Also, there is the additional twist if the present City Council decides to no longer support the Eastern Connector possibility.

Past Council connected building the Eastern Connector with building McIntire Rd. Extended.

This explanation clears up some confusion I had when reading the article. Perhaps the reporter could speak with Mr. Kleeman for further clarification before writing any additional articles regarding the Meadow Creek Parkway; McIntire Road Extended; or the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road.