About FAQs Stay Informed

About Route 460 Project Southeast VA

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.   Map of Route 460 Project Area in Southeast VA

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 November 30, 2015 to January 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; and
• 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 (HB2), 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 Route 460 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.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Sunset along the corridor.

What are the benefits of the Preferred Alternative? Over its length the Preferred Alternative:

  • Improves safety by yielding the lowest crash rates.
  • Maximizes evacuation capacity in this portion of the study corridor.
  • Enhances safety and mobility by separating local and regional traffic, which allows for improved access to community facilities while accommodating truck traffic with a free-flow connection to Route 58.
  • Addresses citizen concerns related to flooding and projected sea-level rise by providing infrastructure that incorporates federal initiatives addressing climate change and coastal resiliency.
  • Provides the greatest travel time savings.
  • Provides the most effective new route for freight movement in this portion of the study corridor.
  • As indicated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), appears to be the Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative (LEDPA), an important consideration in advancing any improvement.

How was the Preferred Alternative identified?

The Preferred Alternative included for detailed study in the Final SEIS is the result of extensive work to evaluate and develop options along the Route 460 corridor.
Approved by the CTB in February 2015, the Preferred Alternative is the result of a combination of alternatives that were included in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), which was made available in September 2014 and presented at three Location Public Hearings in October 2014.

Following the publication of the Draft SEIS, VDOT determined that none of the improvements evaluated over the entire 55-mile corridor would be viable options, based on public comments that were received, input from the resource and regulatory agencies regarding the estimated environmental impacts, and the cost opinions that had been developed.   As a result, VDOT carefully reconsidered the alternatives that were studied in the Draft SEIS - in whole, in parts, and in hybrid combination with one another – in order to identify a single alternative that would best meet the identified project Purpose and Need, while minimizing environmental impacts and providing the most cost effective project.

What reduction of impacts to streams and wetlands has been made through the use of avoidance and minimization measures?

  • 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; and
  • Through this concerted effort, the impacts were reduced to 39 wetland acres and 6,874 linear feet of streams.

How is the current Project design refined from the previously presented Preferred Alternative?

  • Reduction of property impacts and impacts to other resources, including wetlands and streams, through roadway alignment adjustments and decreased footprint widths;
  • Inclusion of a new intersection west of the Town of Windsor and a new interchange east of the Town of Windsor, connecting the proposed Route 460 to existing Route 460;
  • Provision of an interchange configuration at the Route 460 / Route 58 Eastern Terminus that is  consistent with current operational analyses; and
  • Implementation of other minor measures to avoid or minimize impacts to resources, including wetlands and streams.

What is the Project timeline?

In January 2015, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) was presented with the recommended Preferred Alternative.  The CTB passed a resolution in February 2015, approving the location for the Route 460 corridor improvements, consistent with those presented at the January CTB meeting.  Since then, the study team has continued to develop a more detailed understanding of the specific impacts of the proposed Preferred Alternative as a Joint Permit Application (JPA) and Final SEIS are prepared.  VDOT submitted the JPA to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission  (VMRC) in November 2015.  It is anticipated that the Final SEIS will be prepared by summer 2016.   

Before any property can be acquired or construction can begin, the Project must receive a permit from the USACE, DEQ, and VMRC and a Record of Decision from FHWA. The Project will then be scored under a new law, known as House Bill 2 (HB2).  Major Projects that would improve statewide corridors, like Route 460, are required to be scored based on an objective data-driven process.  Once the Route 460 Project is scored, the CTB will decide whether or not to advance the Project for further design and construction.

Which counties studied during the Draft SEIS process are no longer affected?

Properties west of the Preferred Alternative, located in Prince George, Sussex and Surry counties, will not be affected - even those previously considered during the Location Public Hearings, which included five alternatives and a no-build option. 

Has the contract with US 460 Mobility Partners been terminated?

The McAuliffe administration announced on April 15, 2015 that the Commonwealth issued a notice to terminate its contract with US 460 Mobility Partners regarding the delivery of the Route 460 Project in southeastern Virginia.  VDOT will proceed with completing environmental work on the project.

“The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), with the support of the McAuliffe administration, has provided a notice of termination to US 460 Mobility Partners for Route 460 construction,” said Transportation Secretary Layne. “The Commonwealth has determined it is in the taxpayers’ best interest to terminate the contract. VDOT tried to work with the contractor to deliver the revised Project in a cost effective manner. These efforts proved unsuccessful. The state will aggressively pursue all options available to do what is best for the public interest.”

How can I stay informed of the latest information on the Project?

Please sign up to receive the Project newsletter or contact the Project team at 1-855-460-4600 or Info@Route460Project.org.

Project Update

Please sign up to receive the project newsletter for updates.

For additional questions, please contact the Route 460 project team at 1-855-460-4600 or at info@Route460Project.org.
 

Project Updates

Gov McAuliffe announces settlement to recover taxpayer dollars from Route 460 contract

CHESAPEAKE – Gov. Terry McAuliffe today announced that his administration has reached an agreement with U.S. 460 Mobility Partners...

Read article

Engaging with our federal partners is critical as we work through the complexities of environmental work and project development. Charlie Kilpatrick,
Commisssioner, Virginia
Department of Transportation
View all news project updates