Newman: Route 29 Western Bypass on the road to reality

Map from "Route 29 Bypass: Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville", handout sheet from the Public Hearing, held on March 14, 2002, by VDOT. Courtesy of

By Dan McDermott
The Lynchburg Times

State Senator Stephen D. Newman said today he strongly supports Wednesday’s decision by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to end their opposition to the proposed Route 29 Bypass around the City of Charlottesville.

Describing the bypass as a major boost for the economy and a jobs creator, Newman says he hopes the project can get the green light and be completed during Governor McDonnell’s term in office.

Newman’s statement:

“A Charlottesville Route 29 bypass makes sense economically because it makes moving people and products dramatically more efficient. Most important to many of my constituents and to me is the fact that a 29 bypass means more jobs in the entire region. I strongly support the Albemarle board’s decision to support this crucial jobs-creating bypass.”

“During the 2011 legislative session Va. Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton met with me in my Richmond office and we agreed to a number of steps to help make the Route 29 bypass around Charlottesville a reality. We are very pleased with the decision by the Albemarle Board. This is a strong first step. We have reason to believe that a Charlottesville 29 Bypass could be started if not completed during Governor Bob McDonnell’s term in office. This governor has made transportation a priority during his term and the Route 29 bypass is one of Virginia’s greatest needs. As Attorney General, McDonnell was extremely helpful in responding to my request for an opinion related to the bypass. At that time it was clear that he understood the implications of this bypass for Central Virginia and the Commonwealth.”

“I also believe that Secretary Connaughton is the right man to move us toward finally seeing the construction of the 29 bypass. He has a realistic plan and the fortitude to get it done. I had indicated to the Secretary that if he did not get the road built during his time in office the project would likely fail. We were getting very close to the dates when the right of way would be required to be returned or sold back to the former owners. This would have killed the bypass forever. “

“Today I would strongly urge the people of Central Virginia and Charlottesville to come together and express their strong desire to see this job-creating project paid for, completed and finished. We cannot let this moment pass without seeing it through to the end. The next 90 days could either see our decades of work on this project pay off or be lost for a generation.“

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