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Rio Road Intersection

Intersection Project Completed On Time, Within Budget

The Rio Road grade-separated intersection project was completed Dec. 2, 2016, meeting its fixed completion date and finishing within the $69.7 million project budget.

Construction Cameras at Route 29-Rio Road
Grade-Separated Intersection Project

Time-lapse Camera at the Rio Road Grade Separated Intersection Project

The first time-lapse construction camera was installed in October 2015. The camera is located on the west side of Route 29; the view is toward the northeast and the Rio Road intersection. 

A second camera was installed north of the intersection in March. The view from that camera is south toward the Rio Road intersection.

Check out the Rio Road GSI project cameras to view past and current photos or a time-lapse video of work in progress.   

Drive-through video simulation of  grade-separated intersection, March 1, 2016

Nightly intersection restrictions with detour routes >

New traffic pattern near Rio Road during construction >

Rendering of Route 29 / Rio Road grade separated intersection

Rendering of Route 29 / Rio Road grade-separated intersection


The grade separation will move traffic more efficiently through one of the most congested intersections on the Route 29 corridor. 

Separating local and through traffic at this intersection, which has a history of high crash rates, will improve safety.

What is Proposed?

This project separated traffic on Route 29 from traffic on Rio Road by replacing the current at-grade intersection with a grade-separated intersection. 

Rio Road will remain at roughly the current grade while Route 29 was reconstructed to separate through traffic and local traffic exiting at Rio Road.

Four through lanes (two each direction) were constructed underneath Rio Road to carry traffic with destinations north or south of Rio Road. Local lanes were built to the outside of the through lanes so traffic with local destinations can leave Route 29 onto Rio Road or access the businesses near the intersection.

The project was included in the Route 29 Solutions projects and advanced through construction as part of a design-build contract that also included the widening of Route 29 between Route 643 (Polo Grounds Road) and Route 1719 (Towncenter Drive) and construction of an 2.3 mile-long extension of Berkmar Drive from its current end at Route 1438 (Hilton Heights Road) north to Route 1719 (Towncenter Drive).

Construction began in summer 2015 and was completed Dec. 2, 2016. Construction that restricts movement on Rio Road through the intersection was to be done between May 23 and Sept. 2, 2016. During that time, Rio Road was closed to through traffic and left turns at the Route 29 intersection.The Rio Road intersection was reopened to all traffic movements no later than Sept. 2, 2016.

Four lanes in each direction on Route 29, and two lanes in each direction on Rio Road, were maintained during construction, except during the period between May 23 and Sept. 2, 2016. During that time, traffic on Rio Road was limited to right turns onto Route 29 and traffic was not able to cross the intersection. On Route 29, two southbound lanes and three northbound lanes were maintained between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. and right turns onto Rio Road were allowed at all times.

A temporary intersection at Route 29 and Berkmar Drive, controlled by a signal, served as a detour and allowed traffic from Berkmar to turn right or left onto Route 29 and travel north or south to Rio Road and businesses along Route 29 north or south of Berkmar. That signal had preemption equipment that allows priority access for emergency vehicles.Traffic from Route 29 north and south was able to access Berkmar at the temporary intersection.

Design Review Submissions

Information and Resources

Navigation Aids, Summer 2016

Project Graphics

Environmental Documents



Environmental document review/comments: Sept. 9 - 24, 2014

Design Public Hearing: Held Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, 5 - 7 p.m.
Albemarle High School cafeteria, 2775 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901 

Design-build contract award: February 2015

Utility relocation began: April 2015

Construction began: Summer 2015

Construction complete:  No later than Dec. 2, 2016


Total Cost: $69.7 million

Engineering of Roadway Plans: $2.8 million

Right of Way Acquisition and Utility Relocation: $5.6 million

Construction: $61.4 million

These costs are preliminary planning estimates and subject to change as the project is finalized.