A Location Study for this corridor was administered by the City of Charlottesville and guided throughout the process by a Steering Committee that included City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County elected officials and staff, members of local businesses and surrounding community members. Four alternatives were considered as part of the study. In addition to the conceptual design features that were developed, traffic counts, noise readings and other information such as wetland delineation, endangered species, cultural resources and hazardous material investigations were conducted as part of the environmental document (in the form of an environmental assessment was finalized on February 8, 2006.)
The City selected the engineering firm of McCormick Taylor, Inc. to continue the work of the Location Study through the Preliminary Engineering phase by working on the design, environmental, communications, right-of-way and construction management tasks for this project. The design effort was being led by the ten conditions developed by the Steering Committee and supported by the City.
In 2008, VDOT and FHWA approved the NEPA Document re-evaluation. The Design Public Hearing was held on November 16, 2010 at the Senior Center for the extension of Hillsdale Drive from Greenbrier Drive in Albemarle County to Hydraulic Road in the City of Charlottesville. At that time, the roadway extension provided for one lane of traffic in each direction, with dedicated left turn lanes or raised median strips in the center depending on location. The improvements included a 5’ sidewalk on the west side and an 8’ – 10’ shared use path on the east side to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles. On-street parking is provided in limited areas. There were new traffic signals shown at the redesigned intersections with Greenbrier Drive and Seminole Court and a roundabout at the Zan Road crossing. Additional amenities included pedestrian lighting, landscaping features and a potential pocket park.
In 2011 a Bike Lane Study was prepared for this corridor in response to comments received at the Design Public Hearing. Additional bike accomodations were added to the roadway through the use of sharrows and additional signage. The shared use path north of Greenbrier Drive was also converted to on-road bike lanes to provide better a transition. After a thorough review of the comments received at the hearing, the City of Charlottesville approved the major design features on February 22, 2011 and the County of Albemarle Board of Supervisors concurred on March 2, 2011.
Both the City and County are committed to working with the community to advance this project while providing accommodations to the local residents, commuters and businesses involved.