GRUNDY, Va. — Virginia's tallest bridges opened to traffic Monday in Buchanan County, Va.
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Route 460 Connector Phase I project, located near Breaks Interstate Park, is the first portion of the federally-designated Corridor Q in Virginia between Grundy and the Kentucky state line to open to traffic, according to a statement released Monday by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
At 265-feet high and 1,733-feet long, the twin bridges over Grassy Creek are the tallest in the Commonwealth. In the statement, VDOT said the phase one connector project is approximately 1-mile in length. In addition to the new twin bridges, the project includes an access ramp and bridge over Hunts Creek and Route 768 to access Route 80 and nearby Breaks Interstate Park.
The project began as a design-build effort nearly 11 years ago in 2009 with a contract awarded at the time to Bizzack Construction, LLC. of Lexington, Ky. Work on the Virginia-side project concluded in 2015.
VDOT and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet coordinated the opening of the Route 460 Connector with the opening of a portion of Kentucky’s Route 460 work.
“Kentucky’s milestone of completing a portion of new Route 460 from the state line to near Elkhorn City meant VDOT would be able to open Phase I, greatly improving access for local motorists,” Acting Major Projects Program Manager Marty Halloway, P.E. said in the press release.
Including Phase I, just under 10 miles of Corridor Q in Virginia has been constructed to rough grade, with three additional miles of construction underway on the Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A project in Buchanan County, the news release said.
In 2023, all the projects currently completed to rough grade will be paved and open to traffic from the state line to Route 744 at Southern Gap.
“Current circumstances created by the pandemic kept us from formally celebrating this milestone, we are looking forward to celebrating the opening of 10 miles of Corridor Q in the near future,” VDOT Bristol District Administrator Donny Necessary added in the news release.