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Under Construction

Southgate Connector - Blacksburg

Project Photos

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
Spring 2015

Est Completion Date
Open to Traffic December 2018



Duane Mann
Joshua Lawrence

Project Description

This $46.7-million project will replace the signalized intersection at Route 460 and Southgate Drive at the entrance to Virginia Tech with a diverging diamond interchange.

This new interchange will eliminate one of the last two at-grade intersections on the Blacksburg Bypass section of Route 460.

Two new bridges will be constructed over the Route 460 Bypass and portions of Southgate Drive and the Huckleberry Trail will be relocated.

For additional details, see below:


Project Timeline

The project was awarded in March 2015 and construction began in Spring of 2015. 

The anticipated construction duration is 56-57 months. Access to all properties will be maintained during construction.

On Oct. 1, 2016, the new roundabout opened to traffic on Southgate Drive at Duck Pond.

The project is expected to be open to traffic in December 2018, with incidental work to be completed by December 2019.

May 2013
Location public hearing
A location public hearing was held on the project in May 2013. 

Public hearing documents:
Aerial display
Additional displays
Location hearing brochure

October 2013
Design public hearing
A design public hearing was held Oct. 21, 2013, at the Blacksburg Community Center in Blacksburg.

Public hearing documents:
Design hearing brochure
Design hearing comment sheet
Design hearing display 1
Design hearing display 2
Design hearing display 3
Design hearing display 4


Traffic Impacts

While temporary road and trail detours may be necessary for short durations, impacts to users of these facilities should be minimal. 

Access to all properties will be maintained during construction.

Current Conditions

Lane and road closures and activity in the work zone continue. Motorists should use caution in the area and expect delays.

Discovery Drive in Blacksburg will be closed for use as a storage, staging area and access point for the Southgate project.

Discovery Drive is a dead end cul-de-sac in the Corporate Research Center area and will be closed for the duration of the project.

Innovation Drive Closure – Innovation Drive will be closed at the intersection of existing Discovery Drive in Blacksburg the week of April 24 for construction at the intersection of Discovery Drive.

This road closure will extend through June 24. 

Traffic will have access to the businesses on Innovation Drive from either end of Innovation Drive off of existing Research Center Drive.

Huckleberry Trail shift - Work on the underpass under Route 460 began on Monday, Nov. 21, and will extend through several months until completion.

Flagging operations and shifting of the trail within the construction area will occur at various times throughout the construction timeframe. 

Impacts to pedestrian and bicycle traffic will occur. 

Caution is encouraged and everyone utilizing the trail should be alert, as heavy equipment will be operating in the area.

Drive It! Video Simulation of Southgate


Drive It! Video Simulations of Southgate Connector Project

These videos provide a virtual drive though on future sections of the Route 460 Southgate Connector project in Blacksburg.

The video provides a rendering of what the completed road will look like.

The primary purpose of this project is to improve safety and reduce congestion by replacing the existing signalized intersection at Route 460 and Southgate Drive at the entrance to Virginia Tech with a new interchange.

This interchange project will include the relocation of portions of Southgate Drive and construction of roundabouts at its intersections with Duck Pond Drive and Research Center Drive.


Westbound Route 460 exit onto northbound Southgate Drive (onto Virginia Tech campus) to westbound Duck Pond Drive


Northbound Southgate Drive from the end of the bridge over Route 460 to the Virginia Tech entry sign wall


Northbound Southgate Drive from north of Research Center Drive (near the first Virginia Tech kiosk loop road intersection) to past the Duck Pond Drive roundabout near the Johnson-Miller Track Complex and South Recreational Area Fields


Southbound Southgate Drive (leaving Virginia Tech campus) from Duck Pond Drive roundabout approach (near the Johnson-Miller Track Complex and South Recreational Area Fields) to the westbound Route 460 entry ramp


Northbound Southgate Drive from north of Research Center Drive onto and around the Virginia Tech kiosk loop road


Westbound Research Center Drive from the approach to the roundabout to southbound Southgate Drive


Northbound Southgate Drive from near the Virginia Tech entry wall to eastbound Research Center Drive


Renderings of Completed Bridges over Route 460 at Virginia Tech Entrance

The project includes a new pair of bridges on Southgate Drive over Route 460.

Click here for a renderings of the completed bridges:

Bridge over Route 460 rendering 1

Bridge over Route 460 rendering 2


Environmental Assessment

In July 2013, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the location for the project.

Following the CTB’s approval, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) revised the environmental assessment for the project and sent the revised document to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

VDOT worked with FHWA to finalize the environmental study.

To view the environmental assessment and related documents for this project, see the links below:

Environmental Assessment

Traffic and Transportation Technical Memorandum

Alternatives Technical Memorandum

Air Quality Report

Preliminary Noise Analysis

Finding of No Significant Impact

Revised Environmental Assessment

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Page last modified: Nov. 9, 2017