About Route 460 Project Southeast Virginia
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is developing the Route 460 Project Southeast Virginia.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the location for improvements associated with the Route 460 Project Southeast Virginia, identified as the preferred alternative, in February 2015.
Since the identification and approval of the location of the preferred alternative, further refinements were applied in order to avoid and minimize impacts to the greatest extent practicable and a proposed project has been carried forward in a Joint Permit Application (JPA) submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).
In November 2015, VDOT submitted the JPA for proposed improvements along the Route 460 corridor from approximately one mile west of Zuni to the Route 460 / Route 58 interchange in Suffolk.
The project would consist of a new four-lane divided highway between the Route 460 / Route 58 interchange in Suffolk to west of Windsor.
From approximately one mile west of Zuni to two miles west of Windsor, the existing Route 460 would be reconstructed and upgraded to a four-lane divided highway with a new bridge across the Blackwater River, to eliminate long-standing flood problems.
From approximately two miles west of Windsor to the Route 460 / Route 58 interchange in Suffolk, a new limited access four-lane divided highway would be constructed.
No improvements associated with the project are proposed in Prince George, Sussex and Surry counties.
As part of the review of the permit application, USACE held a public comment period from Nov. 30, 2015, to Jan. 20, 2016. The USACE solicited comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes and other interested parties, in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed improvements.
As part of the preparation of the permit application and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), a more detailed understanding of the specific impacts associated with the project has been developed.
Through the use of avoidance and minimization measures, VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), USACE, DEQ and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency substantially reduced impacts to streams and wetlands throughout the length of the project, as outlined below:
• The analysis resulting from the 2014 Draft SEIS indicated that the Preferred Alternative could impact 52 acres of wetlands and 13,800 linear feet of streams.
• Additional field work during the summer of 2015 established a more accurate baseline of potential impacts of 49 wetland acres and 9,473 linear feet of streams.
• In the fall of 2015, VDOT adjusted and refined the preferred alternative, as the design for permitting advanced, to avoid, minimize and reduce both wetland and stream impacts.
• Through this concerted effort, the impacts were reduced to 39 wetland acres and 6,874 linear feet of streams.
A final decision has not been made on construction of the project. Before any property can be acquired or construction can begin, the project must receive a permit from USACE, DEQ and VMRC and a Record of Decision from FHWA.
The project will then be scored under a new law, House Bill 2, based on an objective data-driven process.
Once the project is scored, the CTB will decide whether or not to advance the project for further design and construction.
The overall purpose of the Route 460 improvements is to construct a facility that is consistent with the functional classification of the corridor, sufficiently address safety, mobility and evacuation needs, and sufficiently accommodate freight traffic along the corridor.
Support for such improvements is based on identified needs to address roadway deficiencies, improve safety, accommodate increasing freight traffic, reduce travel delay, provide adequate evacuation capability, improve strategic military connectivity and support local economic development plans.
Route 460 Project Southeast Virginia