Western bypass a watershed?

Whoda thunk that a road widely seen as useless and expensive would roar back to solve the area's water woes? Although it may never get built as a road, the Route 29 Western Bypass may play a role. Officials with the local water authority unveiled the specifics of their 50-year, $130.5 million water plan last night. And their pipeline would track the pathway of the moribund Bypass as it connects an expanded Ragged Mountain reservoir to the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, according to growth watchdogs Charlottesville Tomorrow.
At the meeting, the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority pointed out that the while the northern portion of the planned 9.5-mile, 36" pipeline would run along right-of-way already purchased by VDOT, the southern portion would run over mostly UVA land.
Ever before the big drought of 2002, and especially with drought rearing its head again this spring, the RWSA has been seeking proactive solutions to provide a reliable local water supply. The latest plan trumps a competing proposal to tap the James River.
The RWSA leaders now hope to gain City and County approval before submitting the project to federal regulators on July 4, according to Charlottesville Tomorrow.
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