Rodney Thomas made no secret of his desire for the Western 29 bypass, and when he and Duane Snow were elected to the Board of Supervisors, he had a chance to make it a reality.
Rodney Thomas objects to being called a wheeler dealer.
PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE
Rodney Thomas is mad. It's one day after a prominent blogger has
accused the Albemarle supervisor of agreeing to "grease the skids"
for the construction of the Western U.S. 29 bypass by limiting
access to the rest of 29.
"That's a bunch of baloney," says Thomas. He called up blogger
Jim Bacon to let him know he didn't appreciate his August 10
Bacon's Rebellion story,
"Gentleman's Agreement," that contends Thomas made a handshake
deal to limit stoplights, median crossings, and driveways on
Albemarle's portion of U.S. 29 in exchange for $230 million in
funding for the Western 29 bypass and U.S. 29 widening, along with
money for completion of Hillsdale Drive, the Best Buy Ramp at U.S.
29/250, Berkmar Drive extension, and the Belmont Bridge
(Bacon considered Thomas' reaction in a followup column,
"When does a deal become a side deal?")
"There is no deal," says Thomas.
Limiting access– or access management, as it's called– is
already in place with future access to 29 controlled by VDOT, says
Thomas. Not creating any more bottlenecks like stoplights and
median crossovers seems a reasonable expectation to keep traffic
Yet the fact remains that, along with fellow freshman supe Duane