John Warner Parkway

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John W. Warner Parkway


Project Overview

1. Improve traffic flow between Rio Road (Route 631) and Route 250
2. Provide more direct access to and from the Charlottesville downtown area
Cost $30,590,522 - County applying for VDOT Revenue Sharing in FY2009 to cover balance
Sponsor VDOT

Status Update

This is Albemarle County's portion of the project. A contract was awarded to Faulconer Construction Company, Inc. on December 18, 2008 by the Commonwealth Transportation Board for $11.8 million. Construction will begin in February 2009, with completion in the fall of 2011. Roadway to open in spring of 2012, pending completion of McIntire Road Extended and 250 Interchange.

VDOT Dashboard VDOT Dashboard Entry

The John W. Warner Parkway (JWW Parkway) is a two-lane limited access road that was known as the Meadowcreek Parkway during its controversial planning period. The project was finally opened in January 2015. The road was designed to connect East Rio Road in Albemarle County to McIntire Road at its intersection with the Route 250 bypass in Charlottesville.

It was officially dedicated on May 11, 2015. [1]


The project's development consisted of three elements:

  • A portion in Albemarle County that terminates at Melbourne Road that opened first
  • A portion in Charlottesville that was known as McIntire Road Extended during development
  • The federally funded Meadow Creek Parkway Interchange within Charlottesville that connects the two portions


The parkway began life in the 1960's but a series of funding gaps and miscommunications delayed the project for almost half a century. [citation needed]

By the late 1990's, the project's final design was coming together. Some City Councilors were adamantly opposed to the project.

In March 1998, City Council candidate Michael Crafaik called upon the City Council to hold a plebiscite on the Meadowcreek Parkway to take the final decision away from a majority of three councilors. [2]

The county's portion was completed on October 13, 2011 and dedicated to traffic on January 6, 2012. [3] [4]

The city's portion was completed in August 2013 but was not opened until the interchange was opened. [citation needed]

The interchange to connect the road to the U.S. Route 250 Bypass was opened in January 2015. [citation needed]

County portion history

Construction of the portion of the road in was scheduled to be completed on October 14, 2011,[5][dead link] but actually wrapped up one day early.[6] It opened to the public in January 2012.

Elements of the road were designed by Jones & Jones, a Seattle-based landscape architectural firm. Construction work was performed by Faulconer Construction Company.

This portion of the parkway is 1.3 miles long and runs from Melbourne Road to East Rio Road. The roadway runs north around the Charlottesville High School athletic facilities and continue parallel with the railroad tracks. After crossing Meadow Creek, the road shifts to the east around the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center {CATEC} and joins Rio Road just south of the school.

A nearby transportation irmpvoement was construction of a new bridge on East Rio Road As of July 29, 2010.[7]

Shortly before the November 2011 election, Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd called for the county's portion of the road to be opened immediately. Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris said that would be premature.[4] On December 7, 2011, the Board voted 6-0 to direct VDOT to open the road. Shortly after the vote, VDOT announced they would prepare to open the road.[6]

Temporary opening in 2010

On October 11, 2010, the closure of East Rio Road for six weeks was detoured by opening the county's portion to traffic.[8] Peter Kleeman, an opponent of the parkway, argued that VDOT had no right to open the detour because the June 2008 ordinance allowing the parkway stated that no part of the parkway could open until the entire project was complete.[9] However, Charlottesville city attorney Craig Brown told City Council at their meeting on October 4, 2010, that the ordinance did not specifically forbid a temporary opening.[10]

After the road was closed, the multi-use trail was made off-limits to bicycles. VDOT policy is for the public to be prohibited from entering construction projects.[11]

City portion history

For much of its history, the Meadowcreek Parkway was envisioned as a four-lane road, but reducing it two lanes was one of many conditions required by City Council before they would approve it.

On June 21, 1999, Council held a design public hearing on the Parkway.[12]. Council discussion after the hearing lead to a decision to send a letter to VDOT requesting several changes. The letter was sent on July 20, 1999 and listed 12 items Council wanted addressed before it could support the Parkway[13] Discussion of these conditions occurred at several meetings, including one one October 25, 2000. [14]


  1. Design speed should be lowered to 37.5 miles per hour, and parkway should follow the contours of the park to reduce its impact to McIntire Park
  2. Number of lanes should be reduced from four to two
  3. Enough right of way should be purchased to allow eventual construction of four lanes
  4. The intersection with Route 250 should contain no more than 17 lanes
  5. Council supported construction of bike lanes, but also called for expansion of accompanying trail from five feet to eight feet
  6. Parkway construction should include at least one storm water management pond
  7. Additional parkland should be acquired to compensate for the loss of land in McIntire Park
  8. VDOT should be barred from constructing cell towers along the right of way
  9. Truck traffic should be prohibited
  10. The Parkway should not be construed as a replacement for an Eastern Connector
  11. City reserved right to hire a technical consultant to supervise its interests as design proceeded
  12. The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial should be protected, preserved and cared for

Interchange history


Construction of the interchange could proceed until a lawsuit filed by the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park against the Federal Highway Administration was resolved. Testimony was heard on April 25, 2012 in the Western District Court of the United States. [15].

In May 2012, Judge Norman K. Moon dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the FHWA's efforts were satisfactory.[16]


  • October 25, 2000: City Council hold special meeting to discuss requested changes to VDOT's design
  • June 12 2007: City Planning Commission approved Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange as consistent with the 2001 Comprehensive Plan by a vote of 3-1-1 [17]
  • July 2, 2007: City Council voted 4-1 to approve Alternatives C1 and G1 as the “Recommended Preferred Alternatives” for the interchange. The interchange alternatives included traffic flow through an oval roundabout in C1, and a signalized diamond in G1. The Council also voted 4-1 that the interchange project is consistent with the 2001 Comprehensive Plan [18]
  • July 16, 2007: City Council deferred a request to grant VDOT a temporary construction easement. The Council agreed to ask the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to affirm their commitment to the Meadowcreek Parkway project before starting construction [19]
  • October 1, 2007: City Council voted to grant a temporary construction easement to VDOT for the construction of the county's portion of the parkway. The vote was unanimous, however, with several conditions. The easement would only be granted once VDOT acquires 49.1 acres of parkland to replace the land lost due to construction. The Council would also have to approve a storm water management system and a commitment for grade separation at the interchange [20]
  • March 19, 2008: The Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange Steering Committee voted 5-1-1 that they preferred an oval roundabout (Alternative C1) to connect the Route 250 Bypass and the future Meadowcreek Parkway [21]


  • April 21, 2008: City Council deferred a decision on the alternative design for the Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange.[23]
  • June 2, 2008: City Council voted 3-2 to grant the easement donated by the City School Board to VDOT for construction near Charlottesville High School.[25]
  • June 4, 2008: City Council selected the Alternate G1 for the design of the interchange, a signalized diamond intersection.[26]
  • January 7, 2009: Albemarle County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to name its portion of the Meadowcreek Parkway after former Senator John Warner.[27]
  • March 16, 2009: City Council voted 3-2 to appropriate over $10 million in transportation funds to VDOT for the Meadowcreek Parkway.[28]
  • March 18, 2009: Judge Jay Swett denied an injunction to stop the Meadowcreek Parkway construction, a request made by the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park.[29]
  • June 26, 2009: Judge Jay Swett ruled a supermajority of votes is not required to grant an easement for the Meadowcreek Parkway. City Council had previously granted nearly 8.6 acres of land the City owns in Albemarle County to VDOT on June 2, 2008.[30]
  • December 8, 2009: VDOT advertises project for construction bids[31].
  • September 29, 2010: Federal Highway Administration issues Finding of No Significant Impact, allowing final design to proceed[32].
  • October 5, 2010: County's portion scheduled to open while East Rio Road intersection is built[33]
  • November 15, 2010: Council votes 3-2 to allow city manager to sign memorandum of agreement for mitigation of damage to historical resources[34]
  • April 2011: The Commonwealth Transportation Board officially awarded a $3.37 million contract to Key Construction of Clarksville to build the road, which will travel through the eastern side of the city’s McIntire Park.[35]
  • November 2, 2011: Supervisor Ken Boyd to attempt to pass resolution calling for county's portion of road to be opened immediately. [4] Board agrees to defer decision until December 2011. [37]
  • December 7, 2011: Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 to ask VDOT to open the John Warner Parkway. VDOT issues press release soon after stating they will prepare the road for an opening. [6]
  • May 2001: Jones and Jones submits report outlining final alignment from Melbourne Road to Rio Road.
  • March 20, 2003: The Virginia Department of Transportation held an open design public hearing.
  • May 5, 2004: Board of Supervisors adopts resolution of intent endorsing design.[38]
  • September 21, 2004: Informal presentation to CATEC Board of Directors.
  • December 2008: Commonwealth Transportation Board awards an $11.8 million construction contract to the Faulconer Construction Company.[39]
  • February 2009: Construction starts.
  • July 6 2009: County announces that 12% of the construction was completed.[40]
  • October 2010: County's portion scheduled to open while East Rio Road intersection is built.[41] Originally scheduled to open on October 5, but postponed until later in the month.
  • October 14, 2011: VDOT anticipated completion of county portion.
  • November 2, 2011: Supervisor Boyd asks Board seek to pass resolution asking VDOT to open the road.[4] Board opts to defer decision until December 2011. [42]
  • December 7, 2011: Supervisors vote 6-0 to open road, and VDOT announces they will do so.[6]
  • Early January 2012: County portion of opened[43]
  • May 11, 2015: Road officially dedicated


External Links


  1. Web. John W. Warner Parkway officially dedicated, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 11, 2015, retrieved April 14, 2024.
  2. Print: Crafaik demands parkway plebiscite, Kimberly O'Brien, Daily Progress, Media General April 1, 1998, Page B1.
  3. Web. [Albemarle opens John W. Warner Parkway Albemarle opens John W. Warner Parkway], Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 6, 2012, retrieved April 14, 2024.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Web. Boyd pushes for immediate opening of Meadow Creek Parkway, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 1, 2011, retrieved April 14, 2012. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "boyd-open" defined multiple times with different content
  5. E-mail. Lou Hatter, Virginia Department of Transportation. "MCP questions." Message to Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow. August 22, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Web. VDOT BEGINS FINAL PREPARATIONS TO OPEN MEADOW CREEK PARKWA, Lou Hatter, Virginia Department of Transportation, December 7, 2011, retrieved December 8, 2011.
  7. "Work on East Rio Road to Shift Traffic | Charlottesville Daily Progress." Charlottesville News, Sports, Business, Events and Jobs | Charlottesville Daily Progress. Web. 28 June 2010. <>.
  8. Web. Now you can try out the long-awaited Meadowcreek Parkway, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, retrieved October 12, 2010.
  9. Web. Can VDOT really open the Meadow Creek Parkway?, Peter Kleeman, September 19, 2010, retrieved October 12, 2010.
  10. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, 4 Oct 2010.
  11. E-mail. Lou Hatter, Virginia Department of Tramsportation. "meadowcreek parkway question." Message to Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow. Friday, February 10, 2011.
  12. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, 21 June 1999.
  13. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, 19 July 1999.
  14. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, October 25, 2000.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Web. Judge Moon hears testimony in Meadowcreek interchange case, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 25, 2012, retrieved April 9, 2015.
  16. Web. Judge Moon rules against Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park; Parkway Interchange to proceed, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 29, 2012, retrieved August 20, 2012.
  17. Web. [1], Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 13, 2007, retrieved April 8, 2015.
  18. Web. [2], Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, July 3, 2007, retrieved April 8, 2015.
  19. Web. City Council asks County to sign agreement before Meadowcreek work begins, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, July 17, 2007, retrieved April 8, 2015.
  20. Web. Council grants conditional easement to VDOT for Meadowcreek Parkway construction, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 2, 2007, retrieved April 8, 2015.
  21. Web. [ ], Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved April 8, 2015.
  22. Tubbs, Sean. "Oval roundabout preferred by 250 Interchange Steering Committee." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 20 Mar. 2008. 14 July 2009 <>.
  23. Tubbs, Sean. "Council defers decision on Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 22 Apr. 2008. 14 July 2009 <>.
  24. Tubbs, Sean. "City School Board votes to grant easement for Meadowcreek Parkway." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 5 May 2008. 14 July 2009 <>.
  25. Doernberg, Ben, and Sean Tubbs. "Council grants easement for Meadowcreek Parkway near CHS." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 4 June 2008. 14 July 2009 <>.
  26. Tubbs, Sean. "City Council selects signalized intersection for Meadowcreek Parkway interchange." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 5 June 2008. 14 July 2009 <>.
  27. Tubbs, Sean. "Supervisors pass resolution in support of naming Meadowcreek Parkway after John Warner." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 8 Jan. 2009. 14 July 2009 <>.
  28. Tubbs, Sean. "City Council’s Meadowcreek Parkway opponents vote against appropriation." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 18 Mar. 2009. 14 July 2009 <>.
  29. Tubbs, Sean. "Judge denies injunction to stop Meadowcreek Parkway construction; case to continue in mid-May." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 19 Mar. 2009. 14 July 2009 <>.
  30. Tubbs, Sean. "Judge Swett: Supermajority of votes not required for Meadowcreek Parkway easement." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 29 June 2009. 14 July 2009 <>.
  31. Tubbs, Sean J. "City’s portion of Meadowcreek Parkway advertised for bid." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Charlottesville Tomorrow, 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 11 Dec. 2009. <>.
  32. Web. Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road Press Release, Charlottesville, Virginia, retrieved October 1, 2010.
  33. Web. Part of Meadowcreek Parkway opening temporarily, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, August 22, 2010, retrieved October 4, 2010.
  34. Web. Council paves way for city's portion of parkway, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 15, 2010, retrieved November 16, 2010.
  35. Web. City’s portion of Meadow Creek Parkway set for construction this summer, Sean Tubbs, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, 26 April 2011, retrieved 17 August 2011.
  36. Web. Coalition files restraining order on McIntire project, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, July 8, 2011, retrieved July 12, 2011.
  37. Web. Albemarle holds off on parkway-opening resolution, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 2, 2011, retrieved November 7, 2011.
  38. Kelsey, Jack M. "Meadow Creek Parkway; CATEC Impacts." Letter to Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. 19 Apr. 2005. Albemarle County, Virginia - Official Web Site. Albemarle County. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>.
  39. Web. [ WORK ON MEADOW CREEK PARKWAY TO BEGIN IN FEBRUARY Commonwealth Transportation Board approves $11.8 million project], Lou Hatter, Virginia Department of Transportation, retrieved December 8, 2011.
  40. VDOT: County’s portion of Meadowcreek Parkway on schedule, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 6 Jul 2009.
  41. Web. Part of Meadowcreek Parkway opening temporarily, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, August 22, 2010, retrieved October 4, 2010.
  42. Web. Albemarle holds off on parkway-opening resolution, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 2, 2011, retrieved November 7, 2011.
  43. Web. City Council falls short of consenting to parkway opening, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, December 21, 2011, retrieved December 22, 2011.

See also

Legal briefs in connection with various lawsuits available on cvillepedia