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VDOT gets ready to begin $79 million project to improve safety on Route 220

Impovements include new turn alignment, lanes, rumble strips

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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – State leaders will be spending almost $80 million to improve safety on a curvy highway in Botetourt County.

The project, which begins later in April, will reconstruct about 9 1/2 miles of the road between Iron Gate and the James River Bridge near Eagle Rock.

Some of the improvements include alignment, new turn lanes and rumble strips.

“So not only will travel lanes be more wider, there will also be more shoulder and they'll be putting in rumble strips to help people drive more safely in that area,” Jason Bond, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said. 

But not everyone agrees with the plan.

Bill Wilson, a former delegate and longtime advocate of the project, was hoping for more lanes.

“We were hoping for the four-lane divide on the highway, because the road is so curvy,” Wilson said.

Bond said the project will remain two lanes due to limited funding.

“We are happy to have these new improvements,” Wilson said.

The road has a history of crashes, with more than 70 between 2010 and 2014.

Construction is expected to begin in April and completed by 2021.

To learn more about the impact the construction will have on traffic, VDOT is holding a public meeting on April 12 at Eagle Rock Elementary School.