Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
June 16, 2014
VDOT MOVING FORWARD WITH ENVIRONMENTAL WORK ON FIVE ALTERNATIVES TO IMPROVE ROUTE 460 IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and its partners at the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working at a steady pace to evaluate the environmental impacts of five Route 460 alternatives. Information is being analyzed to evaluate the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the project that will be reviewed by the public this fall.
The purpose of the project is to improve transportation and safety, provide a faster hurricane evacuation route, enhance movement for trucks coming from the Port of Virginia, improve connectivity for the military and create job and economic opportunities on the Route 460 corridor in southeastern Virginia.
The five alternatives under study are:
Alternative 1: A four-lane tolled road that runs south of the existing Route 460; identified as the preferred alternative in the original Environmental Impact Statement.
Alternative 2: A four-lane road that runs along the existing Route 460, including six bypasses around the existing towns. The bypasses will be evaluated as both tolled and not tolled.
Alternative 3: A four-lane tolled road that runs north of the existing Route 460; identified as CBA-3 in the original Environmental Impact Statement.
Alternative 4: The existing Route 460 would be rebuilt to meet standards for pavement, medians, shoulders, and intersections.
Alternative 5: An eight-lane road that follows a corridor similar to Alternative 2. Four of the eight lanes (two eastbound, two westbound) are tolled as in Alternatives 1 or 3. The remaining four lanes are untolled local roads with an eastbound and westbound lane on each side of the tolled road. At the bypasses, the local lanes merge onto existing Route 460 through the towns and the tolled lanes follow the bypass route.
The study team is collecting information about a variety of environmental issues including wetlands, streams, air quality, noise quality, wildlife habitat and historical resources. The team is also looking at social issues such as right of way requirements, affects on minority populations, and potential relocation of individuals businesses and utilities. Care is also being taken to consider how a new or improved Route 460 fits in with local comprehensive plans.
This information will be part of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Public meetings will be held along the corridor to review the draft SEIS. VDOT will then prepare final SEIS, which will include how the agency addresses public comments and new information. The final document will include a preferred alternative. Public hearings are anticipated to be held in fall 2014. It is expected that VDOT will make a recommendation on a preferred alternative by the end of the year.
For more information, go to http://www.route460project.org/.
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