Long overdue, but welcome news

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Everyone who heard or read the announcement this past weekend that the Route 460 project is officially dead has reason to celebrate. It’s the end of a proposal that no one really seemed to want but the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Several years ago, the idea was put forth to upgrade the road by creating a new highway connecting Suffolk to I-295. The path, complete with tolls, would have run south of the existing path. Yet, issues concerning the environment, permits, residential opposition and the like seemed to squelch that plan.

But not for long.

In spite of the aforementioned obstacles and the money spent, it was back to the drawing board. The alternative became to go from Suffolk to somewhere around Zuni and then stop. In between the road would go around north of Windsor with only one entrance/exit ramp, effectively bypassing the town. We believe that if the plan had gone through, Windsor would have suffered greatly in its economy and quality of living.

Thankfully, the town’s leadership and many residents repeatedly and loudly voiced their opposition enough to make other people aware, including former Del. Rick Morris, who joined in the chorus. This newspaper also made a point to call for the proposal’s demise.

In the end, the failure for it to rate high enough on SMART SCALE, which prioritizes such projects, convinced the powers that be not to proceed.

Instead, VDOT is reportedly planning a public meeting in Windsor on July 19 to get input about the possibility of considering making improvements to 460 in town. We will announce the meeting details when they are made available, and urge residents in and around Windsor to participate.