Multiple proposals for Route 460 considered - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Multiple proposals for Route 460 considered

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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Not one, but five new plans are in the works for Route 460 running from Prince George to Suffolk counties.

On Wednesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe slammed the project for spending $300 million already, with no pavement even poured, but the Virginia Department of Transportation says the project is still essential.

Route 460 is Scott Harvanek's lifeline. It's how he gets his wheat to market. And now that five potential plans could remake 460 as he knows it, Harvanek says he's far from thrilled.

"Sick of the drama, and it wasted a whole lot of taxpayer dollars," he said.

Gov. McAuliffe agrees, saying close to $300 million has been spent so far, but only for prep work.

"Taxpaying Virginians should be outraged that they are now on the hook for $300 million for a road, where not a single shovel has gone in the ground," he said.

When early studies showed a new Route 460 would greatly damage wetlands, VDOT started over.

The five plans now include routes that would either flow north or south of current 460; one plan that rebuilds the current 460; and two plans that have bypasses around the towns

That means a lot of homes and businesses would be spared from demolition. But this could be a double-edged sword, meaning fewer cars on this stretch of 460 than there are right now.

Harvanek says that would do one thing: "Take away from the businesses that have been here for years and years and years."

A world-class roadway would move commerce faster to and from the port, provide an improved hurricane evacuation route for tens of thousands of people and spur new economic development along the 55-mile corridor from Petersburg to Sussex.

Angel Deem, environmental project manager, said public comments between now and the end of the year are critical to picking the right plan. "At this stage of the game, we're not disadvantaging or advantaging one over another," Deem said.

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