Among the Charlottesville region's business advantages is an integrated transportation infrastructure that capitalizes on the area's strategic geographic location in central Virginia.
The region is bisected east-west by Interstate 64, and key north-south routes I-81 (about 30 miles west) and I-95 (less than 50 miles east) provide access to major East Coast and Midwest markets. The highway system includes U.S. Route 29, a north-south four-lane primary highway that serves cities north of Charlottesville through Washington D.C. and those south of Charlottesville. Route 29 connects with I-40 in North Carolina. Other primary roads in the region include U.S. Routes 15, 33, 250 and 522.
The planned Meadow Creek Parkway will provide a two-lane roadway running for 1.4 miles to the Charlottesville city limits. The parkway is designed to add road capacity and provide an alternate route for traffic headed toward Charlottesville from the north. The parkway will connect with McIntire Road extended at the Charlottesville city line, which will extend the new roadway alignment south to the Route 250 Bypass.
The region is also well connected via rail through service by Class I carriers Norfolk Southern and CSX. A major Norfolk Southern line runs from New Orleans through Charlottesville to Washington D.C. and beyond, while CSX lines through the region run from Washington D.C. to Chicago, and from the Port of Hampton Roads to the Midwest. Amtrak has passenger service in Charlottesville.
The port, about three hours from Charlottesville via I-64, is served by 48 steamship lines that sail to 380 destinations in 115 foreign nations. The port handled more than 14.9 million tons of cargo in 2009. The Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, about a two-hour drive north of Charlottesville, allows goods to be transported by train to Hampton Roads where they are transferred to the ships that take them to overseas markets.
The region's commercial air needs are served by Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, which offers 50 daily nonstop flights to and from Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York/LaGuardia, Washington/Dulles, Detroit, and Atlanta. Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express fly into the airport, which handled more than 354,000 passengers in 2009.
The airport, which includes a 60,000-square-foot main terminal, offers general aviation facilities that include an executive terminal with a full-service fixed base operation, flight school and aircraft charter firms. The airport is in the midst of a construction project that will add 800 feet to its 6,000-foot main runway. Four other general aviation airports also operate in the region.
Charlottesville Albemarle Airport by the Numbers
Passenger traffic in 2009
Total flight operations at the airport in 2009
Size in square feet of terminal
Length of runway in feet (runway being expanded by 800 feet)
Annual passenger traffic at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport