Western Bypass

Update

NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville -- VDOT Releases Property Acquired to Build Proposed Rt. 29 Western Bypass
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The following excerpts come from VDOT emails about the proposed Western Bypass north of Charlottesville. On July 20th, 2011, VDOT presented the public and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) with a construction cost estimate of $118 million dollars (VDOT presentation, pg. 12). However, the following internal documents indicate that VDOT staff believe the cost of construction would be 2 to 3.5 times higher.

The documents were provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Charlottesville Albemarle Transportation Coalition (CATCO). Links to the full text are provided below each quote.

During the past two years, the lowest rock excavation cost VDOT has received was $63.00/cubic yard. That equates to $82.40/cubic meter. He reviewed the plans and boring data and based on the means and methods he thinks a contractor will use (controlled blasting with tight drill patterns, blast mats, removal by excavator and transport by trucks), he believes $300 - $400/cubic yard is an appropriate estimate. With this in mind, the construction estimate total is approximately $350,000,000. At the lower end of the range, you use the $82.40/cubic meter price, the total is approximately $255,000,000.

...I developed the spreadsheet Mal wants but put a large question mark in the cost column. I'm going to let someone higher in the organization determine the appropriate cost and I will document it for the records.

Email from Jeffrey Cutright, VDOT, June 24, 2011 ... one month before VDOT presents the Commonwealth Transportation Board with a $118 million dollar construction cost estimate.

 

Gentlemen - Good morning. After review of the Trns-port data supplied by the consultant (bid items & bid quantities) we offer the following design-bid-build estimate:
...
[Construction] Phase Range
$297,973,353- $413,851,879:

Email from Mohammad Mirshahi, VDOT Project Engineer, June 30, 2011 ... three weeks before VDOT presents the Commonwealth Transportation Board with a $118 million dollar construction cost estimate.

 

Anticipated Total:
...[Construction] Cost: $280,000,000.

VDOT Route 29 Bypass Update (Word Document), July 26, 2011 ...6 days after VDOT presented a construction cost of $118 million to the CTB.

 

... the estimate provided yesterday was $436M +/- 15% ... it has increased $20M above the "high end" of the range provided less than a month ago. If you +15% range it is nearly $500M ... over $95M/mile.

I was under the impression that we were definitely going to downscale these interchanges and look at a way to reduce the rock cut on Stillhouse mtn so I did not engage on the estimate numbers ... I am not trying to challenge the Chief Engineer, but we as an organization need to have some consistency and consensus on these estimates and we as owners need to have agreement on what we think should be built.

Email from James Utterback, VDOT District Administrator, July 29, 2011 ...9 days after VDOT presented a construction cost of $118 million to the CTB.

View PEC's Press Statement about the FOIA'd documents >>

Write to Governor McDonnell & the Commonwealth Transportation Board >>

Read more about the Western Bypass >>

 
 
 

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Sketches with Jeff

 

Learn more about the (now-defunct) Western Bypass project and its alternatives in this series of illustrations put together by our staff.

Real Solutions to Rt. 29: Video

Nobody doubts the need to fix traffic problems on Rt. 29. But the proposed $250 million Western Bypass is not the answer. Learn more about cost-effective alternatives in this video.

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