Blacksburg's Southgate Connector project nearing completion

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) WDBJ7 got a rare look at the new Southgate Interchange Connector project in Blacksburg. Construction is happening right now on the new entrance into Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is predicting this will be open to traffic December 2018.

There's a lot to do before that including closing a current road to traffic. Southgate Road will be closed from May 30 to June 12.

A massive project is underway creating a new road connecting route 460 to Southgate Drive.

Over a hill and out of sight is a roundabout connecting the relocated Research Center Drive with Southgate, it is nearly finished, the first layer of pavement is down, and most concrete is poured.

The newest bridge over 460 will take shape this summer. VDOT tells us beams will be placed next month on the overpass at night.

Over near Southgate, crews continued laying dirt for a road. VDOT says this new entrance into campus will reduce wrecks by eliminating an intersection.

"It will also improve safety around the Southgate and 460 intersection which has been the site of many crashes over the years. There have been a lot of rear end crashes at that particular intersection," said Jason Bond, a VDOT spokesperson.

This is what the $46.7 million project is expected to look like when it's finished. This video rendering shows how the new interchange works.

Once this is finished it will eliminate the only traffic signal for a 37-mile stretch on 460.

This construction also makes room for the new Smart Village on campus - a proposed section of land that will house a testing site for projects of the future.