Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – September
Investments in infrastructure continue to make the Commonwealth safer
DAN PRAIRIES–Governor Ralph Northam today inaugurated a $ 300 million project to widen 7.4 miles of Highway 58 in Patrick County above Lovers Leap Mountain. The groundbreaking is the next phase of a larger project to create a continuous four-lane freeway between Virginia Beach and Interstate 77.
The dedication ceremony was held at Fred Clifton Park in Meadows of Dan at a lookout off Highway 58.
“Route 58 is a vital route for locals, tourists, and commercial traffic, connecting southern Virginia from the beach to the mountains,” Governor Northam said. “By expanding this key section, the project will open up this part of southwest Virginia to faster, safer travel and more economical investments.”
This project is part of the US Highway 58 Corridor Development Program. It was enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1989 to improve the potential for economic growth and to provide an adequate, modern, safe and efficient highway system along the southern border of Virginia.
“Each year, thousands of commuters, travelers and truckers use Highway 58 as they travel along the southern border of our Commonwealth” noted Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This project represents the continuation of a decades-long investment in the people and communities of rural and Southwestern Virginia.”
The project will address the safety challenges caused by the steep angles and winding curves that drivers encounter on Lovers Leap Mountain. This two-lane section of Route 58 is currently reserved for semi-trailers. This restriction will be removed once the improvements are complete.
The widening of Route 58 is nearing completion under an agreement between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Branch Civil Inc. The agreement complies with the Public Private Transportation Act, which allows private entities to offer innovative solutions for the design, construction and financing of transport. projects.
“Once the General Assembly prioritized project funding, the Virginia Department of Transportation and our partner Branch Civil used an innovative, progressive design-build approach to refine the design and move the project through to construction. ” noted Road Commissioner Stephen Brich. “This was the first time this style of contract was used in Virginia and supported a new level of engagement between the Virginia Department of Transportation and our contracting partner. “
The project begins a quarter mile west of the Poor Farmers Farm store in Vesta and continues 7.4 miles east. The expansion will be completed when it connects to the existing four-lane section of the Stuart bypass on Route 58.
Construction on Highway 58 will include widening the highway to four lanes, improving alignments and slopes, widening shoulders, adding turning lanes to all secondary road links, and improving the Lovers Leap lookout. In addition, brake control areas and evacuation ramps for trucks will be added.
The mountainous terrain and the amount of excavation required make this project a significant amount of work. Over 10 million cubic meters of soil and rock on Lovers Leap Mountain will need to be excavated at elevations between 1,300 and 3,000 feet.
“Since representing Patrick County in the House of Delegates, I have fought for the widening of Route 58 from Stuart to Interstate 77, prioritizing Lovers Leap, successfully introducing legislation to expand the route 58 ” said delegate Charles Poindexter. “Since all construction and environmental studies are now complete, construction of this much needed project can now begin. I am excited about Patrick County, our area, and the expanded opportunities for the enhanced movement of imports and exports through the Port of Virginia. “
There are two additional projects to widen Route 58 between Virginia Beach and I-77. These include projects at Vesta (four miles) and Crooked Oak (7.2 miles).
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