Hillsdale Drive Extension

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Hillsdale Drive Extension
A rendering of the proposed Hillsdale Drive Extended


Project Overview

Relieve congestion on Route 29 and the Route 29/Hydraulic Road intersection
Cost $30,549,000
Sponsor Charlottesville
Next meeting November 16, 2010 Design Public Hearing

Status Update

Right of way acquisition, waiting to accrue construction funds

Website Project Website
VDOT Dashboard [1]
Contact Jeanette Janiczek, VDOT Program Manager, Charlottesville

The Hillsdale Drive Extension is a north-south route from Albemarle County's urban section to the city of Charlottesville, parallel to U.S. Route 29 that opened on December 22, 2017. [1]

Three storefronts in the Seminole Square Shopping Center were removed to make way for the road. [2]


The project cost was over $30 million though the actual amount spent on the road was less than it might have been because property owners along the alignment donated the right of way.[3]

The road's design was overseen by the Charlottesville's Neighborhood Development Services Department as part of the Urban Construction Initiative. The project manager was Jeanette Janiczek.[4]

The engineering firm of McCormick Taylor, Inc was hired by the city to lead the project. They are in charge of design, environmental assessments, right-of-way negotiations, and construction management.

On July 18, 2012, the Commonwealth Transportation Board fully funded the project. However, the project's future was called into question following issues with a Stonefield Development drainpipe, which empties into a basin over which Hillsdale would be constructed. An attorney representing Seminole Square Shopping Center argued the basin will flood in times of heavy rainfall. [5]


Citizens examine design at public hearing

The project will connect a section of Greenbrier Drive to Hydraulic Road, through the Seminole Square Shopping Center to Hillsdale Drive. The southern terminus was built as part of the Whole Foods project on Hydraulic.[6] However, the route may be extended to Holiday Drive. [7]

Baby steps towards completion

On May 2, 2011, the Charlottesville City Council voted to use eminent domain to take a portion of the road's right of way from Meadowbrook Creek LLC, the developer of the Whole Foods. Even though Meadowbrook had offered to deed the right of way over to the city, a portion of the road is on land currently leased by the K-Mart Corporation. K-Mart has sued Meadowbrook for breaking the terms of its lease, complicating efforts to have the city acquire the property. Councilors voted 3-1 to begin the process of condemning the property.[8]

City staff told the MPO Policy Board in February 2012 that they were hopeful right of way negotiations would be completed by July 2013. They will negotiate with property owners to see if land can be donated in order to lower the cost of the project.[9]

On October 21, 2013, City Council agreed to spend $1.1 million to construct a section from the Whole Foods to India Road. The road will cross on land owned as part of the Homewood Suites hotel that is under construction. [10]

One phase of the road has been completed, another is set to get underway in early 2014, and negotiations were held for the right of way for the majority of the road. [10]

Traffic signal and advertising date controversies

McCormick Taylor, the consultant helping the city of Charlottesville with the project, had stated they do not believe they can put the project out for construction bids until June 2016. Philip Shucet had expected that milestone to be met in December 2015.

Additionally, the intersection of Hillsdale and Greenbrier does not meet the warrants for a traffic signal or a four-way stop. As such, the it will likely be built with stop signs controlling how traffic from Greenbrier gets to Hillsdale. [11]


  • November 4, 2004: A location public hearing is held at the Senior Center
  • March 7, 2005: City Council passes resolution approving Alignment "C".[12]
  • April 2006: Location study completed and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) approved it April 2006.
  • November 18, 2007: The Steering Committee holds fourth meeting.[13]
  • December 20, 2008: Daily Progress reports funding for the project will not be available until at least FY2015, putting project outside of VDOT's Six-Year Improvement Plan.[14]
  • A design public hearing is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2009.[15] However, that time has since passed and a meeting has yet to be scheduled.
  • Mid-December 2009: Construction of first phase begins, to support new Whole Foods.[16]
  • Summer 2010: First phase of road constructed, creating new traffic pattern on Hydraulic Road.
  • November 16, 2010: Design public hearing scheduled.[17]
  • May 2, 2011: City Council votes 3-1 to take property for the first phase of the road by eminent domain.[18]
  • July 18, 2012: The Commonwealth Transportation Board approves the transfer of $9.7 million dollars of additional funding, fully funding the $13.8 million estimate.[5]
  • October 21, 2013: Council agrees to spend $1.1 million on construction of spur from India Road to Whole Foods. [10]
  • October 5, 2015: Council authorizes $15 million in funding for the project
  • October 27, 2016: Project discussed by Place Design Task Force [2]
  • December 22, 2017: Project opens [1]

Safety Improvements

Main article: Hillsdale Drive Safety Improvements

Albemarle County is administering a separate project to add pedestrian crossings to sections of the existing Hillsdale Drive in the County. The first phase of that project is expected to be completed in 2009, but has been delayed multiple times. These improvements were called for by the Senior Center and its members.[19]

Photo gallery



This map is now out of date as there will be no traffic light at the intersection of Greenbrier Drive and Hillsdale.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Hillsdale Drive Extended Opens to Traffic in Charlottesville, Albemarle Co., Taylor Gleason, News Article, NBC29, Charlottesville, Virginia, December 22, 2017, retrieved December 22, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Web. Placemaking group laments lack of oversight with Hillsdale project, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 27, 2016, retrieved October 31, 2016.
  3. Web. Transportation Secretary Connaughton addresses area business leaders, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 27, 2012, retrieved July 13, 2012.
  4. Web. Contact Information, City of Charlottesville, Hillsdale Drive Extension, retrieved 9 July 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Web. State transportation board transfers funds for Hillsdale Drive, Sean Tubbs, July 19, 2012, retrieved July 19, 2012.
  6. Web. "Commission wants “holistic approach” to new Whole Foods store.", Tubbs, Sean J, Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 14 Mar. 2008, retrieved 2 July 2009.
  7. Web. Recommendations unveiled for U.S. 29 congestion relief, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 8, 2014, retrieved May 19, 2014.
  8. Web. Suit Yourselves: City to seize portion of Hillsdale Drive Extended, Chiara Canzi, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, May 10, 2011, retrieved August 22, 2012. Print. May 10, 2011 .
  9. Web. Design work on U.S. 29 widening to start this summer, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 26, 2012, retrieved February 28, 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Web. Council backs final Hillsdale spur funding piece, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, October 22, 2013, retrieved October 23, 2013.
  11. Web. Council authorizes funding for Hillsdale amid continuing delays, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 5, 2015, retrieved October 12, 2015.
  12. Web. City Council Minutes for March 7, 2005, City of Charlottesville, retrieved July 16, 2012.
  13. Web. "Hillsdale Drive runs into post office concerns and a second movie theater.", Wheeler, Brian A, Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 13 Nov. 2007, retrieved 5 July 2009.
  14. Web. Road projects in region hit speed bump, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, Media General, December 20, 2008
  15. Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization. Area Transportation Projects Project Status Matrix. Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, 16 June 2009. Web. 2 July 2009. <http://www.tjpdc.org/agendas_and_minutes/mpoTech/09_06_23/June09_Project%20Tracking.pdf>.
  16. Web. Development - Red dirt alert!, Cedermark, Andrew, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, 15 Dec. 2009, retrieved 22 Aug. 2012.
  17. Web. Neighborhood Development Services News & Notes, retrieved October 22, 2010.
  18. Web. City to try eminent domain over road near Kmart, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 3, 2011, retrieved May 3, 2011.
  19. Senior Center website

External links