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Under Construction

Southgate Connector - Blacksburg

Project Photos

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
Spring 2015

Est Completion Date
Open to Traffic December 2018



Duane Mann
Ricky Keith

What's being done?

This $46.7-million project will replace the signalized intersection at Route 460 and Southgate Drive at the entrance to Virginia Tech with a diverging diamond interchange. This new interchange will eliminate one of the last two at-grade intersections on the Blacksburg Bypass section of U.S. Route 460.

Two new bridges will be constructed over U.S. Route 460 Bypass and portions of Southgate Drive and the Huckleberry Trail will be relocated.

For additional details about the project, view the following video:



The project was awarded in March 2015 and construction on the project began in Spring of 2015. 

The anticipated construction duration is 56-57 months. Access to all properties will be maintained during construction.

The project is expected to be open to traffic in December 2018 with incidental work to be completed by December 2019.


Traffic Impacts

While temporary road and trail detours may be necessary for short durations, impacts to users of these facilities should be minimal. 

Access to all properties will be maintained during construction.


On June 15, starting at 7 a.m. and until completed, there is a lane closure in place in the westbound left lane of Route 460, traveling towards Blacksburg, to widen the shoulder area of the road. Work will continue 24 hours a day until completed. Drivers are advised to watch for large trucks entering and exiting the lane closure area of the work zone. This work is expected to be complete in two weeks.

Once this work is completed, they will move to the eastbound lane area anticipated to begin on Monday, June 30 at 7 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, July11, the passing lane of eastbound Route 460, east of the Southgate Drive entrance, will be closed to perform median work to widen the shoulder of the eastbound lane.

The left outside turn lane coming off Southgate Drive traveling southbound onto eastbound Route 460 toward Roanoke will be closed in order to divert the traffic turning left onto Route 460 eastbound into one lane prior to making the left turn at the traffic light.

Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes to access and leave campus.


Drive It! Video Simulation of Southgate


Drive It! Video Simulations of Southgate Connector Project

These videos provide a virtual drive though on future sections of the Route 460 Southgate Connector project in Blacksburg. The video provides a rendering of what the completed road will look like. The primary purpose of this project is to improve safety and reduce congestion by replacing the existing signalized intersection at Route 460 and Southgate Drive at the entrance to Virginia Tech with a new interchange. This interchange project will include the relocation of portions of Southgate Drive and construction of roundabouts at its intersections with Duck Pond Drive and Research Center Drive.


Westbound Route 460 exit onto northbound Southgate Drive (onto VT campus) to westbound Duck Pond Drive


Northbound Southgate Drive from the end of the bridge over Route 460 to the Virginia Tech entry sign wall


Northbound Southgate Drive from north of Research Center Drive (near the first Virginia Tech kiosk loop road intersection) to past the Duck Pond Drive roundabout near the Johnson-Miller Track Complex and South Recreational Area Fields


Southbound Southgate Drive (leaving VT campus) from Duck Pond Drive roundabout approach (near the Johnson-Miller Track Complex and South Recreational Area Fields) to the westbound Route 460 entry ramp


Northbound Southgate Drive from north of Research Center Drive onto and around the Virginia Tech kiosk loop road


Westbound Research Center Drive from the approach to the roundabout to southbound Southgate Drive


Northbound Southgate Drive from near the Virginia Tech entry wall to eastbound Research Center Drive


Renderings of Completed Bridges over Route 460 at Virginia Tech Entrance

The project includes a new pair of bridges on Southgate Drive over Route 460.

Click here for a renderings of the completed bridges:

Bridge over Route 460 Rendering 1

Bridge over Route 460 Rendering 2


Location Public Hearing

A location public hearing was held on the project in May 2013. 

Public Hearing Documents:

Aerial Display

Additional Displays

Location Hearing Brochure


Design Public Hearing

A design public hearing was held October 21, 2013 at the Blacksburg Community Center in Blacksburg.

Public Hearing Documents:

Design Hearing Brochure

Design Hearing Comment Sheet

Design Hearing Display 1

Design Hearing Display 2

Design Hearing Display 3

Design Hearing Display 4


Environmental Assessment

In July 2013, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the location for the project.

Following the CTB’s approval, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) revised the environmental assessment for the project and sent the revised document to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). VDOT worked with FHWA to finalize the environmental study.

To view the environmental assessment and related documents for this project, select from the links below:

Environmental Assessment

Traffic and Transportation Technical Memorandum

Alternatives Technical Memorandum

Air Quality Report

Preliminary Noise Analysis

Finding of No Significant Impact

Revised Environmental Assessment

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Page last modified: June 16, 2015