BEDFORD, Va. -

Route 460 west of Bedford has changed a lot since the Zimmerman family opened a convenience store along the highway 50 years ago.

"It's a lot more traffic," said Donald Zimmerman.  "To me it's like looking at Interstate 81."

As the number of cars and trucks has increased, the road itself has stayed the same.

Zimmerman believes some of the outdated features are a bit dangerous.

"Just past the store here, there is a crossover where there has been a lot of wrecks," Zimmerman said.

VDOT is about to address the problem.

Starting this spring crews will reconstruct part of 460 west, just past the Bedford bypass.  A slope will be removed, and the westbound portion of the road will be brought into alignment with the eastbound lanes.

"There's sort of a crown here, a hill that prevents people from seeing as well as they should when they are making turns on Route 460," explained Jason Bond, a public affairs specialist for VDOT's Salem district.

VDOT will also remove several existing crossovers and build a new "T" intersection.  Ole Turnpike Drive will be moved, to line up with an access road for the new Army Reserve Center.

The intersection will accommodate an increase in traffic that's expected when houses and a shopping center are built in the new "Harmony" development.

"The project does not include a new traffic signal, but it is being designed so that it could accommodate a new traffic signal, if it becomes necessary," Bond said.

The changes sound positive to Bedford residents like Zimmerman.

"It should help as far as safety, and hopefully this side of town will build up," Zimmerman said.

Traffic will be impacted during construction.

The westbound lanes will be closed for about a mile and traffic will be shifted into the eastbound lanes.

There will only be one lane of traffic heading in each direction and the speed limit will be lowered to 35 miles-per-hour.

The project will start in a few weeks and should be finished by December.