Rivanna Trails

Western Bypass Update

11 Feb 2014 9:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
The RTF Board would like to thank its faithful and generous supporters who have recently sent in financial gifts, its incredible trail adopters and work party volunteers who have braved recent rains and snows to maintain the trail, and visionaries who have presented us with plans for new or improved trails.

The Board would also like to give you an update on the Route 29 Western Bypass and its potential impacts to the Rivanna Trail. Depending upon final design, the Bypass’s southern interchange could negatively impact or destroy up to a mile of the Rivanna Trail between Barracks Road and Old Ivy Road.

In September of 2012, we informed you of an information meeting that gave the public an opportunity to provide comments to VDOT about the Bypass’s southern interchange. At that time, the RTF Board expressed its concerns and requested that all future maps of the roadway include the Rivanna Trail. VDOT obliged, surveyed the trail, and included it on future maps.

In 2013, the Federal Highway Administration designated the Rivanna Trail in the area of the southern interchange to be a “section 4(f) resource.” In layman’s terms, this means that the FHWA deemed the Rivanna Trail to be an “important public recreational resource,” requiring VDOT to include a mitigation plan for protecting or improving the trail. VDOT has offered a rough draft of a mitigation plan, but the Board is awaiting more details before making any decisions.

On February 5, the RTF Board presented a letter to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors supporting the BOS’s agenda item of deciding whether or not to hold a public hearing about the Bypass. The BOS voted 5-1 to hold a hearing.

What can you do to help protect the Rivanna Trail from impacts of the Route 29 Western Bypass?

You may address your concerns about potential negative impacts to the Rivanna Trail at a public hearing about the Bypass sponsored by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on February 19.

You may write a letter about your concerns to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, or to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.

Again, we thank you for the many ways you support both the RTF and the RT.