Rt. 460 project won’t move forward

Published 10:18 am Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Virginia Department of Transportation announced mid-afternoon on Friday that the former proposed Route 460 project won’t be going forward, thus officially putting an end to several years of controversy and worry.

At one time, a new 460 was going to be built from the Route 58 interchange in Suffolk all the way to 295, and would have included tolls. This was going to be running parallel south of the existing 460.

In response to opposition, a new plan was formed. Instead, the new toll-free road would go from Suffolk and bypass Windsor to the north and end in or near Zuni. Along with residents, Windsor Mayor Carita Richardson and other council members repeatedly voiced protests that it would severely damage the town economically. Further, for the project to stop midway would make the road essentially useless, particularly as an evacuation route in case of hurricanes or other disasters.

Last October, the Commonwealth Transportation Board voted to present the project to be scored and ranked within Virginia’s data-driven prioritization method, SMART SCALE. That determines if funding would be given for construction. But the project didn’t get a score high enough to warrant progress.

According to the press release, “the decision to not move the project forward was confirmed at the CTB’s Six Year Improvement Plan meeting held on June 21.”

The agency has reportedly been asked by both Isle of Wight County and the City of Suffolk to keep working “with the localities, regional planning organizations and interested stakeholders to identify and develop achievable safety and operational improvement projects that could potentially be implemented within the existing operational right of way.”

For example, according to Richardson’s letter on page 2, VDOT is planning a public meeting in town on Wednesday, July 19, to get input about the possibility of considering making improvements to 460 in Windsor.

For additional information on the Route 460 Safety and Operational planning study please contact:

Jerry Pauley,  Hampton Roads District Planning, at 925-1525 or Jerry.Pauley@VDOT.Virginia.gov.

Readers can also visit www.Route460Project.org or contact Info@Route460Project.org for more information on the Route 460 Project history and development.