CROZET, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Some people said they never noticed the bridge on Crozet Avenue, but when the Virginia Department of Transportation does construction on it, it will be hard to miss.
VDOT is asking people to give their input on the best way to do construction on a bridge on Crozet Avenue, along Route 240. On Wednesday evening, officials held a public hearing at the Crozet library.
Steve Kostiw went to the public hearing to voice his concerns.
"Coming to this meeting today, the traffic was backed up to the firehouse," said Kostiw. "So that's almost three-quarters of a mile from where the meeting is, and that's without any delays going on."
VDOT is asking people if they would rather the road be closed completely to work on the bridge for six months in the fall of 2022, or if they would rather keep one lane of traffic open and take eight months to work on it. Kostiw said neither amount is acceptable.
"Crozet is a growth area," said Kostiw. "There are an incredible amount of new homes coming online. So when they do the traffic analysis for the work, they really have to not take a snapshot of Crozet in 2019, but rather take a snapshot of what the growth is going to be in 2022 to ensure that they're doing an accurate assessment."
VDOT spokesperson Lou Hatter said this construction will help in the long run and be for the best financially.
"This bridge has some age on it and it's getting to the point where it is getting structurally deficient," said Hatter. "So if we do this work on it, then we extend the lifespan of the remainder of the structure well into the future, and it's a lot less expensive than replacing the entire bridge. We're talking about a project that will take approximately $2.2 million."
Kostiw said the detour through Route 250 would not be much help.
"We're a small community, and there are only a few secondary roads you can use as alternatives," said Kostiw.
Rescue teams are also worried that a road closure or a single lane will slow down their access.
A detour down Old Trail Drive could add three extra minutes to their trip, according to an emergency employee who voiced his concern. He said those extra three minutes are vital time when it comes to an emergency. Rescue teams also want to avoid going through residential neighborhoods.
Hatter said these concerns are why they want as much public feedback as possible. Anyone who missed the hearing can email their concerns to howard.tomlinson@VDOT.virginia.gov.
More information on the project can be found at the link in the Related Links box.