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McDonnell announces team working on new 460 project

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced last week that the Commonwealth has selected US 460 Mobility Partners to finance, design and build a new 55-mile stretch of Route 460 in southeastern Virginia.

The selection was made after a two-year procurement process involving detailed review and evaluation of private-sector proposals. Construction will be financed through a combination of public dollars and tolls. The existing Route 460 remains free.

“The new Route 460 highway is critical to economic development in this growing region of Virginia. This project is expected to create 4,000 jobs during construction and more than 14,000 long-term jobs when the new road opens,” said McDonnell. “The new highway will stimulate business development in the region and accommodate greater freight traffic from the Port of Virginia, benefiting the entire Commonwealth. Chmura Economics estimates that the new highway will have an annual economic impact by 2020 estimated at $7.3 billion.

“The project will also provide a safer route for heavy truck traffic and another westbound hurricane evacuation alternative, in addition to improving connectivity for the region’s military. In 2011, our transportation legislation put the most new funding into Virginia’s roads and rail since 1986. Over 900 projects were jumpstarted as a result of this historic breakthrough. Now, with this announcement, we are taking yet another major step forward in improving transportation in Virginia. We are putting in place the infrastructure today that will be crucial to economic growth and job creation in Virginia tomorrow.”

Secretary Sean T. Connaughton added, “The Commonwealth is partnering with the private sector to achieve the most cost-effective means of delivering this project. Long-term project benefits will far outweigh the investment to build the road. When completed, the new Route 460 will bring much more than transportation improvements. It will also provide a critical link to jobs, commerce, and the military and increased safety. This is positive news not only for southeastern Virginia, but to the entire state.”

The Virginia Department of Transportation in coordination with the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships is procuring the project under Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA), which allows the Commonwealth to partner with the private sector to finance, design and build transportation improvements.

The major business terms of the project were shared with the Commonwealth Transportation Board today. The business terms set the framework for the comprehensive agreement planned to be signed between VDOT, the private-sector team and the Route 460 Funding Corporation of Virginia this coming December.

“The new Route 460 has been a top transportation priority for the state for more than 12 years,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “Since that time, VDOT has worked extensively with localities, the region and the public to complete environmental work, establish a corridor and then go through a lengthy evaluation process to select a private-sector partner and develop a financial plan to design and build the new highway. Project development involved open communications and numerous meetings with the public and local officials. And there will be more public outreach as we move ahead prior to signing the comprehensive agreement and bringing this project to financial close.”

The Hampton Roads and Tri-Cities Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have designated the Route 460 project a significant transportation priority.  The project is one of the highest ranked transportation projects of the Hampton Roads MPO and both MPOs have included the project  in their individual long-range transportation plans.  Key reasons for support include improved transportation for freight, increased traffic safety because of an additional evacuation route, as well as improved travel times and reliability to port facilities, defense installations, and tourist destinations.

Next month, VDOT and the CTB will hold a public information meeting along the Route 460 corridor to review details of the project and respond to questions.

Visit www.route460ppta.org for more project information.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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