Belmont Bridge replacement
|Belmont Bridge Replacement|
To replace a bridge that has a sufficiency rating of 47.6 out of 100.
|Location||NDS Conference Room, City Hall|
|Next meeting||February 13, 2013, Belmont Bridge Conceptual Design Review, JMRL Central Library|
According to the MPO's project tracking matrix for February 2008, the City's cost benefit analysis supports full replacement. An Environmental EQ 429 form has been submitted for approval. A design RFP is being developed. According to Jeanette Janiczek, almost $6.1 in state and federal funding has been accrued, but the project needs close to $8.4 million more.
|Contact||Jeanette Janiczek, VDOT program manager, Charlottesville|
Charlottesville is administering a $14.5 million project to replace the Belmont Bridge, which carries Avon Street over the Buckingham Branch railroad line. As of 2010, the bridge has a sufficiency rating of 47.6 out of 100.
|This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.|
After several years of planning, a steering committee is meeting in the fall of 2014 to make recommendations on a new design after MMM Design went bankrupt and was no longer associated with the project.
Construction on the replacement is not expected to begin until at least 2018. 
The bridge was originally built in 1961. In 2003, the Belmont Bridge was determined by the City of Charlottesville to be “rapidly deteriorating” and a plan was put in place to replace it. According to the staff report prepared for the April 6, 2009 City Council meeting, the elements of the bridge were beginning to crumble, and replacement was recommended rather than repair.
The project is one of two being administered by the City's Department of Neighborhood Development Services.
In December 2008 the city's cost/benefit analysis supported full replacement. A design request for proposals was developed.  MMM Design was selected to serve as the design consultant for the project.
The city received $1 million in VDOT revenue sharing money for the project in FY2012. 
In November 2009, VDOT officials announced plans to cut several hundred million dollars worth of projects to fill a budget deficit, threatening the ability for the city to save for the bridge.
MMM Design of Charlottesville accepted the commission to draw plans for a replacement bridge. A series of public meetings resulted in a design that did not meet the favor of many in the Belmont community. Filmmaker Brian Wimer held a contest in February 2012 called Project Gait-Way to solicit new designs. The winning concept called for the bridge to be replaced with an at-grade crossing with the Buckingham Branch Railroad. The contest called into question the schedule for the replacement. City Council considered the matter at its meeting on March 5, 2012.
The design firm Siteworks Studio was hired as a subcontractor, and spent the summer of 2012 taking the elements from design contest entries to incorporate into a new design. Two alternatives have been developed. One would be a replacement of the bridge. The other would be an underpass, with Avon Street dipping below the CSX railroad tracks. Both designs also feature a pedestrian-only suspension bridge, a plaza, and a linear park along the railroad. The PLACE Design Task Force reviewed the proposals in December 2012. The task force recommended the adoption of the underpass scheme because it concluded that it would provide easier and more attractive access to the Downtown Mall and give greater development potential to land south of the railroad tracks. Charlottesville sought public input regarding the two designs in February 2013.
- November 30, 2010: Kick-off meeting at CitySpace. 
- January 2011: Meeting held with adjacent neighborhoods.
- January 2011: Meeting with Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville. 
- January 12, 2011: Meeting with bike and pedestrian community. 
- January 20, 2011: Meeting with Economic & Government Affairs Committee of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. 
- March 2, 2011: Public design charette. 
- June 20, 2011: Council briefed on design progress. 
- September 14, 2011: Design Preview Meeting
- March 5, 2012: City council to be briefed on contest results, next steps in design
- February 13, 2013: Belmont Bridge Conceptual Design Review meeting at Central Library
Map and images
"A Tale of Two Bridges" - A video made for Project Gait-Way
- Dixit, Rachana. "Revenue Matching Funds for Roads Cut." Charlottesville Daily Progress. 27 June 2010. Web. <http://www2.dailyprogress.com/cdp/news/local/article/revenue_matching_funds_for_roads_cut/57668/#When:01:16:48Z>.
- E-mail. Jeanette Janiczek, City of Charlottesville. "amount of money saved up for belmont bridge." Message to Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow. June 22, 2011.
- Web. Belmont Bridge design coming into focus, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 22, 2011, retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, April 6 2003.. Also available in older archive.
- Web. Project Tracking Matrix, MPO Policy Board, December 15 2008, retrieved 9 Nov 2009.
- Web. MMM Design selected to oversee new Belmont Bridge design work, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 8, 2009, retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Web. FY 2012 Revenue Sharing Allocations, Virginia Department of Transportation, retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Strong, Ted. "Belmont Bridge fix funds in danger | Charlottesville Daily Progress." Charlottesville news, sports, business, events and jobs | Charlottesville Daily Progress. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www2.dailyprogress.com/cdp/news/local/article/belmont_bridge_fix_funds_in_danger/49301/>
- Web. Winning design for Belmont: No bridge, more connectivity for Belmont and Downtown Mall, Courtney Beale, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 21, 2012, retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Web. Design work on U.S. 29 widening to start this summer, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 26, 2012, retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Web. Conceptual Design Review, City of Charlottesville, Belmont Bridge Replacement Project, Feb 2013, retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Web. Memorandum to City Council, PLACE Design Task Force, Belmont Bridge Replacement Project, 28 January 2013, retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Web. November 30, 2010 Kick-Off Meeting, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Web. Adjacent neighborhood meeting, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Web. DBAC meeting, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Web. , City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Web. Chamber of Commerce meeting, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Web. Public design charette, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Web. Belmont Bridge Replacement Design Preview Meeting, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved September 1, 2011.