Supervisors concerned about proposed 460 toll road

Published 10:44 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

COURTLAND—Ron West doesn’t have a problem with a new Route 460 being built a half-mile from his home.

The Southampton County Supervisor, who represents the Berlin-Ivor District, is however concerned about the four-lane divided highway cutting through farmers’ pastures. West is also concerned about the highway’s proximity to homes and the future of businesses along the current Route 460 whose bread and butter is motorists.

“Ivor has a new truck stop with 10 terminals for gas,” he said. “No one in their right mind will leave a 75 mph highway to go down old Route 460 and go down a quarter-mile to get gas and eat a sandwich. He’s put a pile of money into that business.”

West’s comments were included in a Monday discussion of the proposed 55-mile highway during the county supervisors’ board meeting.

County Administrator Mike Johnson outlined proposals by three companies interested in developing the highway from Suffolk to Petersburg. It will run parallel to the current Route 460, past Windsor, Ivor, Wakefield and Waverly.

The highway calls for nine interchanges; one is proposed for the nine-mile portion that will run through Southampton County. It is at Ivor Road.

Action is expected on Jan. 19 on proposals submitted by the developers, who say they can build the highway for $1.5 to $2.7 billion, Johnson said. Companies chosen next month will have to submit detailed proposals by June 15.

An agreement on construction is expected by Oct. 17, with construction and development expected to take 5 to 6 years, he said.

Supervisor Walt Brown, who represents the Newsoms District, has concerns similar to West’s.

“Whatever comes to the table, don’t negate the ‘ma and pa businesses’ along there,” Brown said. “There are a lot of businesses along the 460 corridor. I’m concerned this may close some of these shops up.”

The hope is to build the highway with capital from private investors. The investors would be paid back from toll revenues along with other possible revenue sources. Tolls are expected to range from 10 cents to 20 cents a mile for cars and possibly more for trucks. The driver of car could expect to pay $5.50 to $11 to drive the full route, Johnson said.

People can learn more about proposals for the highway during a 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, meeting at Windsor High School.