ROAD CONSTRUCTION: Va. road project derailed by environmental study

VDOT study found project paralleling U.S. 460 would cost $1.8 billion, destroy 600 acres of wetlands

Asphalt News The Washington Post September 25, 2014
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The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will go back to the drawing board after an environmental study revealed that a road project backed by former Gov. Robert McDonnell would cost $400 million more and destroy 120 more acres of wetlands than originally estimated. State Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said he expects the state to pursue alternative projects.
 
The project in question would have been an east-west toll road paralleling U.S. 460 through northwest Virginia. The intent was to provide an additional route for the main thoroughfare, which carries between 9,200 and 17,000 vehicles per day, and act as an additional hurricane evacuation route. 
 
Original estimates put the project price tag at $1.4 billion, saying that 480 acres of wetlands would be destroyed by the new road. The new VDOT study, jointly conducted with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, revealed the actual cost would be $1.8 billion, with 600 acres of wetlands destroyed.
 
Current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had already shut the project down this past March. The state is now expected to make improvements to U.S. 460 at a cost of $979 million, and only 91 acres of wetlands would be destroyed.

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