State halts route 460 work

Published 1:27 pm Friday, March 14, 2014

State Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne announced Friday that an order had been issued to stop work on the project to build a new Route 460.

Layne described the action as a temporary suspension of contract and permit work, after a stop-work order was issued to 460 Mobility Partners, the commonwealth’s private partner in the project.

Layne said the decision would save taxpayer money as the state works toward securing permits for the project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held off issuing a permit because of the threat the project poses to hundreds of acres of wetlands under the current proposed route of the new road.

Layne said Friday’s announcement could increase the chances the commonwealth would improve the existing Route 460, instead of building an entirely new toll road.

He estimated the environment study of alternatives to fix, build or update the road could take up to 12 months.

Layne said $300 million had been spent to date on the $1.4 billion project. The stop-work order could save taxpayers $35 million a month during the 12-month period, he estimated.