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Blacksburg approves R-Cut design for 460/North Main intersection

BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Blacksburg's Town Council is approving the VDOT proposal for changes at the Route 460 - North Main Street intersection.

The council voted 6 to 1 Tuesday night to go with the R-Cut design that would take away what council says are dangerous left turns.

Several people got up to speak out against the R-Cut design before it was ultimately approved by the council.

Council members themselves even said this wasn't their favorite option, but with money constraints, it's the one most felt they had to go with.

Mayor Ron Rordam says he feels the pain of people living in the Farmingdale neighborhood off 460, that will soon only have one way to turn off their street, but ultimately, he supported the R-Cut design.

"I wish we were here talking about a grade-separated interchange. I wish we were here talking about what we really needed, but when I think about the accidents that are happening there and the accidents that could happen in the future, I'm glad we're finally trying to do something because it's very important," said Rordam.

Rordam says that grade separated interchange had a price tag of $40 million.

"It would have taken up all of the funding in the Salem district this year, and i think plus a little bit extra, so that's what we're up against," said Rordam.

But one council member, Krisha Chachra, says the town should have taken what it's up against head on.

"We have resources available, maybe more muscle available if you will, to continue to fight and to get a solution that is best for our community," said Chachra.

Like many, Chachra has concerns that, by eliminating left turns, people will have to make dangerous U-turns in the future.

"I think you are solving one issue, but you are creating another issue, and i am not willing to support something that i feel will be more dangerous in the future for us," said Chachra.

Rordam says, he sees that point of view, but ultimately believes doing something is better than nothing at all.

"It doesn't make it safe because there's nothing that is safe when you get in a car, but it makes it safer, and that's our job and that's what we have to do," said Rordam.

The R-Cut design will cost VDOT $3.3 million and won't require any contribution from the town.