August 7, 2014
The route 29 advisory committee met to hash out their agenda for the road projects. Among their concerns is trying to get one portion of the project wrapped up before the next stage begins.
Businesses along that road are already concerned about the impact of construction. So members of the 29 advisory panel are trying to talk out ways to balance the impact of work being done on traffic, while still getting the project done as quickly as possible. Albemarle Supervisor Brad Sheffield says it’s worth fast-tracking.
"I definitely think we should move that up as quickly as possible for many reasons. It’s just long overdue. I think it's a project that will make an impact early on and we need to start making as much of an impact on the transportation system now and not wait a year or two."
Group facilitator Philip Shucet says the bids are being advertised in December with plans for construction starting in the spring.
"The comment today was is there a way to finish it sooner if it’s planned to be finished in July of 2016. Is there a way to finish it sooner before construction starts on Rio Road in May of 2016?"
So can it wrap up in time? Even early? Shucet says they are going to sit down and take a hard look at it.
Panel members also responded to recent concerns that citizens aren't being heard.
Shucet says that while someone might feel that way, they are in fact listening.
"Someone may feel like they are not, so that's not up to me to say how someone feels. I respect that. The point is everyone is being listened to."
Sheffield says it is impossible to make everyone happy, even though he is listening.
"It’s a challenge, as a supervisor, there are always those on both sides of the issue. And if you don’t agree with them they feel like you are not listening to them. And it’s like no, we are listening. It’s just not the position I am taking. I’ve got 18,000 people in the Rio district. There is no way all 18,000 are going to agree on the same topic."
The goal is to have all of the rest of the projects wrapped up by October 2017.