Route 460 work prompts concerns

Published 9:49 am Friday, October 19, 2012

IVOR—Britney Faehner fears the new U.S. Route 460 could hurt her business.

The owner of Britney’s Beauty and Barber Shop on Tucker Swamp Road near Ivor has heard the $1.4 billion highway will cut through her road, creating dead-ends on both sides.

“It could ruin my business,” she said Thursday.

Southampton County Berlin-Ivor District Supervisor Ronnie West heard a similar story early on, but understands the Board of Supervisors will have a say in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s decision concerning Tucker Swamp Road.

“I understand that the contractor will sit down with each location, and we’ll be able to express our concerns,” he said. “The bottom line is to wait and see. I think after Jan. 1 we will have a pretty good idea. There will be meetings with contractors.”

West opposes splitting Tucker Swamp Road because motorists take it to Franklin and elsewhere.

He also understands that only 30 percent of the surveying is done for the new 55-mile toll road, which will connect Suffolk with Petersburg.

“They really haven’t made any decisions on the exact location of the road,” West said.

Faehner, whose home-operated business will be about a mile from the new highway, isn’t opposed to the project.

“I just don’t want it to cut off my road,” the 28-year-old said.

She worries that some of her 60 regular customers will not want to drive the extra miles to get to her shop and believes an overpass would be the best solution.

“We could carry on as normal,” she said. “Tucker Swamp is a major road that takes people to Windsor, Ivor and Wakefield.”

Tucker Swamp Road residents Arlene and Marvin Donnell agree.

“We really don’t have a problem with the highway as a whole, but when we found out it (Tucker Swamp) would be dead-ended . . .,” Arlene Donnell said.

A trip to Franklin would mean an extra five miles for the couple.

“That’s where we shop and we go out to dinner,” she said. “I’m even more concerned about emergency personnel having to get to the other end of Tucker Swamp Road.”

Windsor Town Council last week voted unanimously to oppose the closing of Buckhorn Drive for the construction of the new Route 460. Members are concerned because Commonwealth Gin is located on the road and the closure would hurt the business.