Charlottesville travelers may experience longer, and larger, than normal traffic delays in Fall 2013. While a historic town, Charlottesville is continually improving roadways, and the University of Virginia is almost always in one form of expansion or another. And the roadways of Charlottesville show it.
The biggest traffic jam this fall might well be the interchange of McIntire Road and United States Route 250 (US 250). McIntire is one prominent entry way to the Charlottesville Downtown Pedestrian Mall and US 250 cuts through Charlottesville from east to west. Construction in this area has been ongoing throughout the summer of 2013, and by the looks of and amounts of heavy equipment, it will be a good while longer before the project is completed.
The interchange of McIntire Road and US 250 has normal rush hours on a good day from 7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m., during the noontime lunch hour (11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.) and then again at close of business (4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) on weekdays. Construction at that interchange just amplifies the congestion. Travelers to Charlottesville this fall should plan travel routes accordingly.
Another traffic hotspot is just at the eastern-most end of The Corner area of Charlottesville, near the University of Virginia (UVa) Hospital and office complexes. UVa is a growing business, and as such is continually expanding, creating offices, parking spaces, and upgrading buildings.
Currently construction centers around what locals used to call “The Towers,”officially known now as The Blake Center at the intersection of Jefferson Park Avenue (aka JPA) and West Main Street, near the University Baptist Church and the Red Roof Inn on The Corner. This is also the spot where The Corner's University Avenue becomes West Main Street, although the two road names are actually one in the same roadway.
On any given day, it is normal for this area to be congested with pedestrians,whether students, travelers or UVa faculty/staff, grabbing a coffee or a meal at a nearby Corner store. Large cranes sit off the roadway, which itself has a barricade, narrowing the roads, and overall adding to the congested feel of the area.
The Blake Center itself has outside scaffolding for building work, and Kjellstrom Construction covered the sidewalks for pedestrian safety. If the travel destination involves the UVa grounds, driving this stretch of road and/or being impacted by its congestion, is most likely unavoidable; travelers should plan for, and allow, extra travel time.
Further up West Main Street by just a few blocks, is another significant travel jam. Earlier this summer construction workers spent time tearing down existing buildings on a couple of land plots adjacent to Main Street, and leveling the plots for new construction. Currently, it appears DPR Construction is laying foundation work for housing units. More large equipment can be found here, and one lane of West Main Street has been blocked off entirely with fencing and flashing barricades.
When will the road work end for Charlottesville? If historic towns stay still, they risk resembling a ghost town. Charlottesville and UVa have too much history at stake for that. The road work never really ends in this town.
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