Grade separated interchange at Rio Road and US29

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Grade-separated interchange at Rio Road and U.S. 29


Project Overview

Major reconstruction of intersection
Cost $81 million
Location Albemarle County
Sponsor Albemarle County
Next meeting TBA

Status Update

Final design work


The design was created and implemented by the Lane / Corman Joint Venture Major construction on this component of the Route 29 Solutions package is expected was completed in July 2016. Early data shows the project has reduced crashes and contributed to improved travel times through the corridor. [1]

Video rendering


The project was listed in the three-party agreement between Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia. [citation needed]

On June 18, 2014, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $81 million for design and construction of a grade-separated interchange at Rio Road and U.S. 29. [2] The project is called for in the Places29 Master Plan]

The project has been part of the discussions of how to address traffic congestion on U.S. 29 for many decades.

The project was recommended by the Route 29 Advisory Panel. [3] It has a preliminary cost estimate of $81 million.

The project is part of a design-build contract process currently underway. [4]

However, a group called Smart29 formed to seek to delay or halt the project. [5] However, they are not part to a lawsuit that was file in early March 2015 by a group of neighboring landowners.

Opposition from the business community

The project has long been opposed by the North Charlottesville Business Council and continues to be opposed by the Free Enterprise Forum. [6] Opposition has coalesced around the Smart29 group.

Construction phasing

One of the concerns during planning will be how construction will be phased. It will take place at the same time as widening and construction of Berkmar Drive Extended.


Joel DeNunzio of VDOT reported data to the Board of Supervisors on October 4, 2017. There were 73 crashes in the area around the intersection between July 19, 2012, and April 13, 2013. The figures cover an area between Twentyninth Place and Woodbrook Road. The new configuration opened on July 19, 2016. DeNunzio said there were 41 crashes between that day and April 30 of this year.

DeNunzio also presented information that shows a decrease in average travel times. Data collected on April 9 and 10, 2014, was compared with that collected on Aug. 9 and 10 of this year. Northbound travel times between Hydraulic Road and Airport Road decreased by 21 percent between 7 and 9 a.m., 16 percent between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 19 percent between 4 and 6 p.m. Southbound travel times between Airport Road and Hydraulic saw similar reductions. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. VDOT: Fewer crashes, faster travel times after U.S. 29 projects, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 6, 2017, retrieved October 9, 2017.
  2. Web. Western Bypass funding eliminated; CTB supports other U.S. 29 projects, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 18, 2014, retrieved June 19, 2014.
  3. Web. Recommendations unveiled for U.S. 29 congestion relief, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 8, 2014, retrieved May 19, 2014.
  4. Web. VDOT sets aggressive deadlines for Route 29 projects, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, July 25, 2014, retrieved July 27, 2014.
  5. Web. Rio Road interchange opponents organizing to block project, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, December 4, 2014, retrieved December 8, 2014.
  6. Web. The Who Has the Answer to New US29 Panel, Neil Williamson, Free Enterprise Forum, retrieved June 19, 2014.