What is Purpose and Need?

The Purpose and Need is a specific statement that identifies the transportation-related problem (need) and proposes a solution (purpose). The Purpose and Need answers why transportation funds may be spent and resources impacted. The Purpose and Need is also a required element of the Federal transportation project development process.


How has the Project Team developed the Purpose and Need for the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road Project?

First, the Project Team identified existing traffic issues and conditions. With assistance from the Steering Committee, the Team also identified additional community issues and project goals. The draft Purpose and Need Statements were developed and refined with the Steering Committee at open public meetings held on November 3, 2005; January 11, 2006; March 2, 2006, and May 4, 2006. Input on the draft Purpose and Need Statements were received from the public at the two Citizen Informational Meetings held on March 23, 2006 and June 14, 2006.

To assist with Purpose and Need preparation, the Project Team performed traffic studies to evaluate existing traffic, congestion, intersection function, and overall traffic flow through the project area. The Project Team has incorporated regional model traffic volume forecasts for the year 2030 future conditions into the Purpose and Need.


The project NEED statements for the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road are as follows:

  • There are existing roadway and operational deficiencies in the form of traffic congestion, limited capacity, and inefficient traffic operations.
  • There are unsafe motorist, bicycle and pedestrian conditions for those traveling through the project area.
  • There are deficiencies in community mobility for automobiles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • There is a social demand to create a context sensitive gateway into the City of Charlottesville that will also benefit nearby recreational facilities.
  • There is a US congressional desire for the interchange as represented by the project earmark in the 2005 Federal Transportation Reauthorization Act (SAFETEA-LU).

The project PURPOSE of the 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project is as follows:

The purpose of this project is to address roadway and operational deficiencies that exist now and that will result from future traffic conditions at the Route 250 Bypass/McIntire Road/McIntire Road Extended intersection; safely accommodate future traffic; and improve community mobility, including bicycles and pedestrians. The project will be designed as a gateway to the City of Charlottesville in a manner that is sensitive to the context of its surroundings, minimizes impacts to the environment, and supports existing and planned recreational development in McIntire Park.


The Purpose and Need Statement

To access the current Purpose and Need statement (formatted as Chapter I of the forthcoming Environmental Assessment), click on the following link.

Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road Purpose and Need


Federal guidance and requirements for the Purpose and Need

To review the technical requirements and guidance for the Purpose and Need statement, click on the following links to access Federal guidance documents:

FHWA: The Importance of Purpose and Need in Environmental Documents. (September 18, 1990)

FHWA: Technical Advisory T6640.8A, Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) Documents. (October 30, 1987)

For further information regarding the FHWA project development process, transportation decision making, and the implementation of NEPA, click on this link to the FHWA website.


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