Windsor council unified against 460 alternative

Published 11:35 am Friday, March 13, 2015

Windsor Mayor Carita Richardson and Town Council recently made their displeasure known in regard to the preferred alternative to Route 460.

Angel Deems and Amanda Baxter, representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation, appeared unscheduled to speak on Tuesday night, but were still granted time to give an overview and update of the proposal. Two months ago, officials from the town and county were shocked to learn that a new plan for the road involved only 17 miles from Suffolk to Zuni, and that route would go around Windsor on the north side. In spite of concerns from Isle of Wight, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved going ahead with the new proposal. The Board of Supervisors voted reluctantly in favor of the project in hopes that support will gain a say-so into the project if it overcomes hurdles.

Following the VDOT presentation, Richardson and council members repeatedly questioned Deems about the wisdom of the plan.

Regarding the agency’s reported willingness to hear people’s concerns and needs for the project, the mayor told Deems:

“You said input, but all we’ve had are updates.

“Was anything considered with something that cost less in order to go further on 460?

“I think you’re giving a false impression.

“I think this could have been done with Windsor’s input.

“Where did that information come from?”

Patty Fleming asked, “What if this is a major mistake? We have a year before the second Panama canal opens, and we’ll be inundated with cargo trucks. Pretty.”

“Will I be alive when this project is done,” Tony Ambrose asked Deems.

“I certainly hope so,” she replied, and added that if all went according to scheduled, it could be done in about 5 years.

“Why have public hearings when you’re not going to listen,” asked Durwood Scott.

Council later voted on a resolution stating its opposition to the new proposal.