Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


January 10, 2013

Corridor construction — Route 460 upgrade important

While we realize that the ongoing construction has created a few headaches for motorists and others, the multi-million dollar U.S. Route 460 widening project in Buchanan County is still of critical importance. And the second phase of the $40 million project is now expected to be completed in a matter of months.

The phase II project involves a widening of Route 460 from the recently completed downtown area in Grundy to Route 615. The work should be completed by spring, according to Michelle Earl, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Earl says traffic has already been moved onto its permanent location along the newly constructed Route 460. However, some work remains to be completed, including signage installation along the four-lane and other finishing items. That remaining work is expected to be completed in the next 30 to 45 days.

Two phases of construction are still underway. Phase III of the Route 460 widening project began in the spring of 2011 at a cost of $23.3 million. It is scheduled for completion in April 2014. The 1.18 mile project extends from Route 615 to Royal Center.

When both phases II and III are completed, the four-laning of Route 460 from Claypool Hill in Tazewell County to Grundy in Buchanan County will also be completed. That, in return, is expected to help improve traffic flow in the coalfield producing counties of Southwest Virginia.

Both projects are a part of Corridor Q, which is a part of the Appalachian Development Highway System.

The relocation and widening projects are indirectly tied to the recently completed multi-million dollar flood-proofing project in Grundy. More than 75 families, non-profit organizations and businesses were relocated in 2010 to the new redevelopment site across the Levisa River as part of the decade-old initiative. A Walmart super center, and other adjoining businesses, are now open for business at the new Grundy Town Center.

We welcome the looming completion of phase II, and urge motorists and area residents to exercise patience as VDOT works to complete phase III. The final phase of construction won’t be finished until 2014, so a few more traffic delays can probably be expected over the next two years.

It’s a minor inconvenience motorists must be willing to endure in order to ensure an improved four-lane corridor and flow of traffic in the not-too-distant future. We congratulate VDOT on the work completed to date, and look forward to the conclusion of this necessary project.

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