In the 1930s, a two-lane highway was built between Petersburg and Suffolk to parallel the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad — now Norfolk-Southern Railroad — line that had been constructed in the 1890s. This road was widened to four lanes in the 1950s. There were no medians, shoulders or divided sections on the highway.
U.S. Route 460 is part of the federally designated National Highway System. Improvements to the corridor between Suffolk and Petersburg were evaluated as part of the national “TransAmerica Study” that resulted from the federal government’s Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991.
In the late 1990s, Virginia and West Virginia collaborated on a study of potential improvements between Beckley, West Virginia and Virginia Beach that included the U.S. Route 460 Corridor.
In 2000, the Virginia Transportation Act designated U.S. Route 460 as a “high priority corridor” between Interstate 295 in Petersburg and the Route 58 bypass in Suffolk.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) began a location study for U.S. Route 460 in 2003. Also that year, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation requiring a Public-Private Transportation Act solicitation for improvements to the highway. The location study was completed in 2008 and FHWA issued a Record of Decision in September 2008.
VDOT initiated procurement activities for the Project under the PPTA. In response to an initial Solicitation for Proposals, three offeror teams submitted conceptual proposals. VDOT completed an evaluation of the conceptual proposals and all three offeror teams advanced to the detailed proposals stage of the procurement. VDOT issued a Request for Detailed Proposals (RFDP) on December 31, 2008 and amended the RFDP on February 24, 2009.
Prior to submitting Detailed Proposals each offeror team wrote a letter to VDOT indicating that the Project was not financially feasible without public funding ranging from $500 million to $1 billion. On October 15, 2009, VDOT responded by stating that it was in the best interest of all parties to postpone the procurement until at least April 2010. On May 3, 2010, VDOT terminated the procurement as there continued to be no public funds available to advance the Project. The Project remains a high priority for the commonwealth due to its importance as an emergency evacuation route and a way to move freight in and out of the Hampton Roads ports. As such a new procurement was initiated on May 5, 2010 to include several new key assumptions that were not included in the earlier procurement with the goal of improving the economic viability of the Project. Documents from the original procurement have been archived in the Document Library under the original procurement folder. Information regarding the new procurement is provided under Procurement Status.