Route 58 construction continues

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Road workers install concrete barriers along Route 58 between Courtland and Capron for a continuing $7.8 millon construction project. GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

CAPRON—A five-mile, Route 58 reconstruction project in Southampton County has been a blessing for Art Pope.

The owner of Pope’s Slip-In on the four-lane near Pinopolis Road in Capron has been selling more gas and food, thanks to the workers on the $7.8 million project. He will remain optimistic about the project’s next phase — the complete reconstruction of a one-third mile section that fronts his convenience store.

“They’re digging (the roadway) down to the dirt and putting in a new foundation,” Pope said. “They’re telling us they will keep a lane open.”

That project begins this week near Pinopolis Road in Capron, said Kris Purzycki, public information officer with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Westbound and eastbound traffic near Capron will be reduced to single lanes.

Also beginning this week will be the resurfacing of a portion of Route 58 from Southampton High School and west for 2.6 miles, Purzycki said. Both eastbound and westbound traffic will be merged into single lanes. Westbound traffic will be diverted into an eastbound lane.

The entire project, which got started in May, remains on schedule for a Sept. 20 completion, Purzycki said. The project runs from east of Capron to west of Southampton High School at the Route 35 exit outside Courtland.

A 2.2-mile initial section, which began ½-mile east of Capron and headed east is near completion, Purzycki said. Crews are updating signs and road markings.

Westbound travelers are currently blocked from entering Gurganus Peanut Outlet at Route 58 and Rawlings Road. They can, however, turn around at the Pinopolis Road intersection and trek back for about ½-mile to get to the store.

“I could shut down and come back when it’s done,” said storeowner Dora Gurganus. “God’s in control. He’s going to take care of us no matter what’s out there.”

She’s seeing fewer tourists this summer, but her regular customers still stop.

Ryan Patterson of Capron gives himself an extra 10 minutes when he needs to take Route 58.

“It takes me a lot longer, but I don’t mind,” the 18-year-old said. “It will help the community.”