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Hydraulic Road Intersection Study


This study will address future land uses and transportation improvements for the Route 29-Hydraulic Road intersection, the surrounding roads and properties in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Any proposed transportation improvements will consider the ability of the intersection and nearby roads to handle a steadily increasing volume of traffic and the variety of transportation modes, including pedestrians, bicyclists and mass transit, which use the intersection.

What Is Proposed?

The study will be undertaken in two phases.

The first phase will involve planning for future land uses for properties that lie within the study area.

The study area is roughly bounded by Greenbrier Drive / Whitewood Road on the north, Meadow Creek to the east, the U.S. 250 Bypass to the south and North Berkshire Road to the west.

Since the Charlottesville line bisects the study area, the land use planning will be a joint undertaking of the city and county and may be incorporated into the localities’ planning documents.

The second phase will investigate potential transportation improvements within the Route 29-Hydraulic Road study area, including Hydraulic Road, Hillsdale Drive, the Route 250 Bypass and the interchange at Emmet Street and the 250 Bypass.

The small area land use planning study was to be completed by September 2017, and any recommendations for transportation improvements will be complete by the summer of 2018.

This schedule will allow the city and county to prepare applications for any transportation improvement projects to be submitted for the next round of SMART SCALE project evaluation in summer 2018.

Who Will Participate?

An advisory panel of representatives from Charlottesville, Albemarle County, local businesses and other stakeholders will help develop the land use and transportation improvement plans over the next 18 months.

The Hydraulic Planning Advisory Panel’s work will be modeled on the Project Delivery Advisory Panel that worked with VDOT on the Route 29 Solutions projects.

The panel’s meetings will be open to the public but comments will not be taken during the meetings.

Why Is This Study Necessary?

Several previous studies (see below), done by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, have identified the intersection and associated road network as a high priority for improvements to enhance safety and reduce congestion on Route 29, Hydraulic Road and the Route 250 Bypass.

The Route 29-Hydraulic Road intersection study was scheduled to begin in the second half of 2018, following completion of the other Route 29 Solutions projects.

At the request of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the Commonwealth Transportation Board advanced the schedule and provided funding to begin the work in 2017.

The land use planning study is being managed by the MPO, while the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will manage the transportation planning work.

This study will incorporate the Hillsdale Drive South project, which was proposed as a potential extension of Hillsdale Drive between Hydraulic Road and the bypass in the Route 29 Solutions project package.

The city requested that project be incorporated into this study.

How Can I Get Involved?

The panel’s meetings are open to the public and will be livestreamed on the Internet.

The meeting agenda and presentation materials are posted on the panel webpage before the meeting.

After the meeting, video and audio podcasts and summary minutes will be posted on that webpage.

Comments may be emailed to Route29Solutions@VDOT.Virginia.gov or directed to a panel member.

Elected officials and staff from both the city and county are serving on the panel so comments may be directed to them or to their boards during regular public meetings.

Comments received by the project team, and the responses, will be reviewed at each panel meeting.

At a Glance

Key Dates 

Feb. 6, 2017: Begin land-use study

April 17, 2017: Begin transportation study

Aug. 31, 2017: Complete land-use study

June 2018: Complete transportation study & draft SmartScale application


$10 million (Preliminary engineering only)

Lengths and Limits 

0.85 mile, from the Route 250 Bypass to the north Charlottesville city limits


Charlottesville & Albemarle County




Dave Covington

Information and Resources

Previous studies

29H250 Study, Phase 1. Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, May 2003

29H250 Study, Phase 2.Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, September 2004

Places 29 Master Plan, Albemarle County, adopted February 2011, revised June 2015