Road construction projects to alter summer driving in Blacksburg

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BLACKSBURG, Va. You'll want to pay extra close attention to the roads in Blacksburg.

While thousands of students are gone from Virginia Tech, several major construction projects are picking up speed and could alter your route.

The rendering of the new route 460 and Southgate Drive interchange in Blacksburg shows the plans to eliminate a traffic signal and add a diamond intersection.

Right now crews are building those new roads.

This Thursday and Friday, VDOT tell us the left lane of Route 460 westbound in this area will close for crews to place concrete at a bridge support.

Virginia Tech is encouraging drivers to avoid Southgate Drive from Route 460. Construction on a roundabout connected to that big project started Monday.

Over the summer, flaggers will control traffic at the current intersection with Duck Pond Drive.

Drivers are asked to use West Campus Drive to enter the university instead.

Nearby, University City Boulevard is expected to reopen midsummer.
The town of Blacksburg spent several months on this connector road to smooth out curves and make it easier to travel.

A few miles away, neighbors aren't happy with a proposed change that town leaders say could make the route 460 and North Main Street interchange safer.

"Its a very convenient way to get on 460 to get out to 81 and people have bought here because of that. We also feel that it will cut down on the economic impact," said Julie Rosenberger who lives less than a quarter of a mile from the interchange.

Blacksburg and VDOT's temporary plan eliminates left turns from North Main Street.

Neighbors would like to see the speed limit lowered in the short term. It changes from 65 to 55 near the intersection.

"Another thing we've talked about is potentially seeing if we could get the town to put police there to slow people down because anybody who goes through that intersection knows that nobody goes 55," Rosenberger said.

Town council and neighbors are pushing for a interchange that uses ramps.

VDOT has told town leaders there isn't funding right now for that long term solution.

Town council plans to hold several meetings that include public comment over the summer.