Gov. inks Route 460 deal

Published 10:55 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

By Gwen Albers

The Tidewater News

On a personal level, David Bennett has no problem with the construction of a new U.S. Route 460, which came one step closer to reality on Thursday.


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The 45-year-old lives and works in Ivor.

Bennett also remains optimistic that the 55-mile toll road won’t hurt the company where he works. If anything, a specialty business like All American Auto Sales and Cycle on Route 460 could benefit.

“We deal in automobile and power sports sales and repairs,” he said. “If we do the proper advertising, there could be a benefit.”

Bennett made the comments after Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the state had contracted with two entities to finance, design and build the new U.S. Route 460 from Suffolk to Petersburg.

US 460 Mobility Partners will construct the $1.4 billion highway. The Route 460 Funding Corporation of Virginia will handle the financing, according to a new release from the governor’s office.

The four-lane divided road will be parallel to the existing U.S. 460, which will remain a free alternative. The new road will connect Suffolk and Petersburg Interchanges in Western Tidewater include Route 258 in Windsor and Ivor Road outside Ivor in Southampton County.

It’s Bennett’s understanding that All American Auto Sales and Cycle could be about 3 miles from the Ivor exit.

“The new road is supposed to be one for high-speed transit from Petersburg to Suffolk, so if we are getting our presence known along Route 460, it could draw in people,” said Bennett, who works in accounts receivable.

Construction is expected to begin in December 2014.

When the road opens in 2018, tolls will begin at 7 cents per mile for cars and 21 cents per mile for trucks. This equals $3.69 for cars and $11.72 for trucks for the 55 miles.

In his announcement, McDonnell called the new 460 a clear and critical need.

“In 2000, the Virginia Transportation Act designated U.S. 460 as a high priority in southeastern Virginia,” he said.

Legislative leaders supported the project because it would improve safety for motorists and connectivity for freight and military traffic among other benefits, McDonnell said.

“Today, the Commonwealth is finally delivering on that need and building a project that will not only make transportation better for the southeastern region and the state, it will also generate jobs and economic development opportunities, bringing extensive long-term benefits in so many ways,” he said.

Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said the state has worked extensively with localities, the region and the public to complete environmental work, establish a corridor and go through an evaluation process to select a private-sector partner and develop a financial plan.

“Today marks a major milestone with a signed contract to begin work on a transportation project that will increase safety and provide a critical link to jobs, commerce and the military,” he said.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will provide $903 million for the project. The Virginia Port Authority has contributed $250 million. Private sector tax-exempt bonds sold this month by the Route 460 Funding Corporation of Virginia netted $243 million.