$230 million: State board accelerates Western Bypass with cash
Christmas has come early for Lynchburg and Danville. Putting the taxpayer money where the Secretary of Transportation's mouth is, the all-powerful Commonwealth Transportation Board has voted to approve $197 million for construction of the controversial Western Bypass for U.S. 29 and an additional $33 million to provide an additional lane to the existing stretch of U.S. 29 from the South Fork of the Rivanna River north to the Hollymead Town Center. The July 20 action was hailed by Governor Bob McDonnell in a press release as providing “major benefits for Charlottesville and Albemarle County by reducing congestion." Although hailed at the highest echelons of state government for zipping past 14 traffic lights to speed the flow of traffic, the long-planned roadway has generated gobs of local controversy because it would consume dozens of homes and fail to actually bypass much of the commerce that already cloaks the northern suburbs.