Three Party Agreement

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The Three Party Agreement was the community's response to the Fall 1990 VDOT study of road improvements for U.S. Route 29. The agreement codified local government's preference for a sequence of transportation projects to be completed before the construction of a Western Bypass of U.S. Route 29. Specifically, the agreement signed by the City of Charlottesville[1], Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia calls for:

Summary from the 1998 JLARC Report

"VDOT developed a position paper with recommendations regarding how to proceed in the fall of 1990. In the paper, VDOT staff recommended to the CTB a series of short, medium, and long range improvements to the Route 29 corridor through Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The position paper concluded the following:

The study also shows that no single alternative by itself will satisfy all of these needs. For example, a bypass alternative alone will not substantially improve traffic conditions on existing Route 29. Providing improvements only to existing Route 29 will not satisfy anticipated future needs for additional highway capacity, nor will it satisfactorily fulfill Route 29’s function as an arterial route for through traffic."

"VDOT staff recommended in their final position paper the following sequence of improvements:

  1. widening of Route 29 from Hydraulic Road to the Rivanna River,
  2. development of the North Grounds access facility at the University of Virginia along with additional mass transit,
  3. construction of grade-separated interchanges at Rio Road, Greenbrier Drive, and Hydraulic Road, and
  4. “at such time that traffic conditions along the Route 29 corridor become unacceptable and economic conditions permit, we recommend the construction of the preserved corridor Alternative 10.”"

"The staff recommended “Alternative 10” as the corridor for the bypass if it was ultimately determined that the bypass was needed. VDOT recommended “Alternative 10” based on several factors. It would provide the highest level of traffic service, it did not cross the reservoir, and it was the least costly of the western alternatives. In addition to this sequence of improvements, VDOT also recommended that the city, county, and State work to preserve the rights-of-way for the future development of the Route 29 bypass. However, the construction of the Route 29 bypass itself was listed as a “long range” solution."

"In November 1990, the issue was presented to the CTB. The CTB adopted a resolution that reflected the staff recommendation. The resolution called for the sequence of improvements recommended by staff which included the widening of existing Route 29 and the construction of the three grade-separated interchanges. It also stated that the bypass was only to be constructed if necessary after the construction of these alternatives. The resolution also approved “Alternative 10” as the corridor for the bypass but stated that the bypass would only be considered if the other improvements did not resolve the traffic congestion on existing Route 29."

"In December 1991, the Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors signed an agreement, which is referred to as the “three party agreement,” (the third party was the University of Virginia) that stated their support for a sequencing of improvements for the Route 29 corridor in the CTB resolution. The CTB passed a resolution in December 1991 recognizing this agreement, re-affirming its support for the prioritization of improvements outlined in its November 1990 resolution, and adding support for the construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway. In February 1992, the University of Virginia also signed the agreement made by the city and county. The metropolitan planning organization also endorsed this agreement. "[3]


  1. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, 16 Dec. 1991.
  2. Web. Supervisors adopt Places29, pass on Hollymead expansion, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 3 Feb 2011, retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. Review of the Highway Location Process in Virginia. Rep. no. House Document No. 60. 15 Jan. 1998. Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission of the Virginia General Assembly. 16 June 2009 <>.