News | March 5, 2015

State board grants initial approval for scaled-back plan for U.S. 460

Recently, the Commonwealth Transportation Board granted approval for the location of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s new plan for improving a 17-mile portion of the U.S. 460 corridor in Southeastern Virginia. 

In January, VDOT announced its new plan for U.S. 460—a combination of building a new four-lane, divided highway between Suffolk and Windsor, and upgrading the existing U.S. 460 and building a new bridge over the Blackwater River until the work ends west of Zuni.

This new approach is a vast improvement over VDOT’s prior proposal to build a new 55-mile highway parallel to the existing, lightly-traveled U.S. 460 all the way from Suffolk to Petersburg.  It would reduce the amount of wetlands the project would destroy from an unprecedented 613 acres to 52 acres, and the cost to taxpayers from $1.8 billion to between $375 and $425 million.

But as SELC’s Trip Pollard recently noted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, this approval comes very quick on the heels of VDOT’s release of this new plan, before many important questions have been answered about the impacts and relative costs and benefits of this new approach.

Read more about SELC's work on U.S. 460.

Learn more at