County renames Meadow Creek Parkway after John Warner
By Sean Tubbs
Thursday, January 5, 2012
When Albemarle County’s portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway is permanently opened on Friday, motorists will travel on a road named after a former U.S. senator from Virginia.
“The road name in Albemarle County will be the John W. Warner Parkway,” said County Attorney Larry Davis.
The board unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday to name the parkway after Warner, who has ties to the Charlottesville region.
“Warner was accepted at the law school of University of Virginia in the fall of 1949 and completed his first year and was commencing his second year when he like many other military reservists was called to active duty for the Korean War,” said Ann H. Mallek, chair of the Board of Supervisors.
After the war, Warner returned to Charlottesville and completed his law degree in 1953.
He served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 2009 and chose to announce his retirement at UVa.
Warner was instrumental in moving the Meadow Creek Parkway project forward by securing $27 million in earmarks to fund a grade-separated interchange at its intersection with the U.S. 250 bypass.
“We were so lucky to have someone that fell in love with this community like he did when he was in school,” said former Supervisor Forrest Marshall, who added that Warner is a close friend.
Marshall said Warner also played a role in keeping the National Ground Intelligence Center from relocating away from the Charlottesville region.
Albemarle County resident Anton Largiader said he was opposed to the renaming.
“This is simply a case where people like the existing name of the Meadow Creek Parkway,” Largiader said. “The existing name is perfectly fine [because] it is descriptive of its geographic area.”
When Largiader said he thought the name change was being rushed through, Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd reminded him supervisors passed a similar resolution in January 2009 indicating their support for the idea.
However, the initial signs for the road will not match its new name. The Virginia Department of Transportation has already created and installed signs that mark the road as the Meadow Creek Parkway.
“All the signage referring to Meadow Creek Parkway will be removed and replaced with the Warner Parkway signs,” Davis said.
Replacing the signs will be Albemarle’s responsibility, according to VDOT spokesman Lou Hatter.
The city’s portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway is still under construction and not expected to be completed until 2013. A lawsuit filed by the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park against the Federal Highway Administration is preventing the road’s interchange from moving forward.
The opening ceremony for the county’s portion will be held on Friday at 10:00 a.m. near the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center.