Plans to improve traffic & safety near Rt. 460 in Blacksburg - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Plans to improve traffic & safety along Rt. 460 in Blacksburg

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Around 60 members of the community came out to the public hearing for the 'Route 460 Bypass and Southgate Drive Project.'

Many expressed excitement about the project alleviating traffic congestion, especially during Virginia Tech game days.

VDOT spokesperson Jason Bond says the project will help also increase safety near the intersection of Rt. 460 and Southgate Drive where several car crashes have been reported.

The plans also call for the stop light at 460 and Southgate to be taken out. Bond says this will help with traffic flow.

Portions of Southgate Drive and Huckleberry Trail will be relocated and roundabouts will be added to Research Center Drive and Duck Pond Drive.

The relocations are a part of accommodating the expansion of the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport.

Many of the questions at the hearing were about Huckleberry Trail. Bond says the whole trail will never be closed, just portions of it. He says the project will actually extend the trail and make it safer by eliminating some of the curves and hills.

Bond also says no private businesses or homes will need to be relocated. He says Virginia Tech leaders expect it will even help with traffic flow for the 2,600 employees who work along Research Drive at Virginia Tech.

A study done by VDOT around this area shows there has been 105 crashes from 2009 to 2011 and 1/3 of those were at the intersection of 460 and Southgate. Bond says many of those accidents were caused by cars getting rear-ended.

VDOT plans to start bidding for the $46.7 million project by December of 2014 and construction by 2015.

You can voice your opinion on the project by contacting Phillip Hammack, Project Manager, by e-mailing him at phillip.hammack@vdot.virginia.gov

Please reference "US 460 Bypass Interchange and Southgate Drive Relocation Public Comment" in the subject heading.

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