Windsor residents weigh in on 460Published 10:54pm Thursday, November 29, 2012
By Stephen H. Cowles
WINDSOR — Placing stickers on maps was a method offered to gain more public input about development for Windsor along the new U.S. Route 460. About 80-plus people attended the Thursday night meeting in Windsor High School.
The 55-mile, $1.4 billion toll road will connect Suffolk to Petersburg, and have one exit in Windsor. Construction is expected to start in 2014 and be complete by 2018.
Among the speakers was Philip C. Rinehart, VDOT design project manager, who spoke about the road project itself. He used a PowerPoint to show maps of where the highway would travel, costs and even method of collecting tolls. Following his talk, about one-third of the audience went with him to another room asking questions.
“There had been no real long-range planning in several years for Windsor,” said Richard Rudnicki of the Isle of Wight County Planning and Zoning Department. “We knew there were going to be changes, and we didn’t want to be behind the 8-ball.”
First to be identified was where Route 460 is now and what’s proposed, said Rudnicki. Aerial images were also taken to find places such as roads and farms, as well as county and town land uses.
“We identified all agricultural districts,” he said, and noted the importance of the county’s agriculture heritage.
At the same time, Hampton Roads has been identified as the third largest port on the East Coast, said Rudnicki. That and the availability of the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park make for a desirable way the county can capitalize on the resources.
“We want to grab a piece of that,” he said.
While a survey already exists on the county’s website asking for public input, the night’s meeting asked those people attending to review the several table-sized maps of the town and surrounding corridor. Rudnicki asked them to put green dots where they’d like to see development, and red ones where they would advise against development.
Among those reviewing the maps were Samuel Duck of Blackwater Road and Melvin Evans of Leander Lane.
Noise is Duck’s chief concern about the new highway, and he wondered whether buffers are planned.
Evans said he’s quite interested in development, but as yet had no firm plans.
Joe Forrer, also of Blackwater Road, has lived in the county for seven years and is worried about the highway going through his property.
A second meeting will take place in the new year, said Rudnicki, and the results of the surveys will be presented.