Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced an agreement with US 460 Mobility Partners and the Route 460 Funding Corporation of Virginia to finance, design and build a new 55-mile section of U.S. Route 460 in southeastern Virginia.
Project development begins immediately for the new $1.4 billion roadway, which is expected to generate an estimated 4,000 jobs during construction and 14,000 jobs over the long-term.
“Legislative leaders supported the project because it would improve safety for motorists and connectivity for freight and military traffic among other benefits,” said Gov. McDonnell. “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.”
The new U.S. 460 will be a four-lane divided highway from Prince George County to the City of Suffolk. The toll road will be parallel to the existing U.S. 460. The existing Route 460 will remain a free alternative.
Apart from the aforementioned jobs that will be created, the highway project will attract new business opportunities, boost tourism and accommodate greater freight traffic from the growth in demand at the Port of Virginia.
The road will help the Port of Virginia compete with Ports of Savannah and Charleston for fast-growing North Carolina markets such as Charlotte and Raleigh, and solidify its competitive advantages over these Southeast seaports.
When the road opens in 2018, tolls will begin at approximately 7 cents per mile ($0.067) for cars and 21 cents per mile ($0.213) for trucks. This equates to $3.69 for cars and $11.72 for trucks for the entire 55 miles. The state estimates the new road will get around 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles per day.
As per an economic impact analysis report prepared by Chmura Economics, the highway project will have an annual economic impact of $7.3 billion by 2020.
When the project is complete in 2020, the Commonwealth will receive nearly $60 million in sales, gas, corporate and individual income taxes. Local governments along the corridor will get annual tax benefits totaling $3.7 million starting in 2020 in the form of sales, meal, lodging and other forms of tax revenue.
William Fralin, who chairs the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) Board of Commissioners, said that, “The VPA is investing in the new U.S. 460 project because it will be an economic engine for the Commonwealth over the long-term, creating opportunities for distribution centers and light manufacturing that will drive cargo through the Port of Virginia. This creates jobs and grows our economy.”
The exact project cost is $1.396 billion including design, construction and toll collection set-up. Public funding from VDOT is $903 million.
Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson said, “The City of Suffolk was recently named one of America’s best places to live for job growth. The benefits that the new U.S. 460 will bring including job opportunities and economic development will further enhance this mark of distinction. I welcome this project to our community.”