The Virginia Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Sept. 18 on the Route 460 Corridor Improvements Project in Southeastern Virginia.
"I am thrilled to represent the U.S. Army as I join Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick from VDOT and Irene Rico from FHWA to sign this SEIS," said Col. Paul Olsen, commander of USACE's Norfolk District. "Today's act serves as a tangible example of the level of commitment and dedication by three proud organizations to a tried and true framework that, since 1969, has balanced our Nation's passion to build with our responsibility to protect our natural and historic resources."
The Draft SEIS evaluates potential social, economic and environmental impacts of five alternatives to improve transportation on the U.S. Route 460 corridor, stretching 55-miles from Suffolk to Petersburg.
The purpose of the project is to improve transportation and safety, provide a faster hurricane evacuation route, enhance movement for trucks coming from the Port of Virginia, improve connectivity for the military and create job and economic opportunities on the corridor.
A Notice of Availability of the SEIS will be published in the Federal Register until Oct. 3. Public comments will be taken through Nov. 17, 2014.
The Draft SEIS evaluated the following five alternatives as well as a no-build alternative.
• Alternative 1: A four-lane divided road that runs south of the existing U.S. Route 460 and could be tolled.
• Alternative 2: A four-lane divided road that runs along the existing U.S. Route 460, with six bypasses around the existing towns. The bypasses could be tolled or not tolled.
• Alternative 3: A four-lane divided road that runs north of the existing U.S. Route 460 and could be tolled.
• Alternative 4: A four-lane road along the existing U.S. Route 460 with improvements to meet standards for medians, shoulders and intersections.
• Alternative 5: An eight-lane road along the existing corridor with an expressway in the center, bypasses at the towns, and local access roadway to the outside. The expressway could be tolled or not tolled.
A map of the alternatives is available at http://route460.org/current_work.asp
Public hearings on the Draft SEIS will be held at the following locations:
• Monday, Oct. 27, 5-8 p.m., Windsor High School, Windsor
• Wednesday, Oct. 29, 5-8 p.m., The Wakefield Foundation, Wakefield
• Thursday, Oct. 30, 5-8 p.m., J.E.J. Moore Middle School, Disputanta
People who are unable to attend a meeting, can view or download all materials from the project website: www.route460.org/SEIS.
Public comments can be submitted at the hearings, or by mail or email.
• Mail: Angel Deem, Environmental Division, 1401 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219
• Email: Route460SEIS@VDOT.Virginia.gov
• A decision on a preferred alternative is anticipated by early 2015.
• Work on the Final SEIS will begin and include documentation of the preferred alternative and responses to comments received on the Draft SEIS.
• The Final SEIS would be published followed by FHWA’s issuance of a Record of Decision on the location of the preferred alternative and USACE’s issuance of a permit decision