Meadows of Dan: 12/13/2005

12-13-2005

VDOTBHI

NEWS RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Martha Wilson
540-767-1108

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PUBLIC INVITED TO CELEBRATE OPENING OF U.S. ROUTE 58 SEGMENT
Secretary of Transportation to Speak at Ceremony


MEADOWS OF DAN, VA –December 13, 2005 – The public is invited to attend the ceremony marking the completion of a segment of U.S. Route 58 around Meadows of Dan at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, (Dec. 20). The ceremony will take place on the new road where it intersects with the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Pierce Homer, Secretary of Transportation, and Phil Francis, superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, are among the speakers. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments from Mountain House Restaurant.

The three-mile segment widens Route 58 in the Meadows of Dan area, from the Route 600 intersection to east of Route 795. The project includes a new Blue Ridge Parkway bridge.

“We are delighted to have completed Phase I of this project to four-lane Route 58 connecting Stuart and Hillsville,” said Larry Dickenson, vice president of Branch Highways, the contractors for the $20 million, 2.7 mile project. “This is the first segment of a Public-Private Transportation Act project to be completed in a rural area of Virginia. The PPTA allows private entities to propose innovative solutions for designing, constructing, financing and operating transportation improvements. Through PPTA, we are able to offer the Commonwealth of Virginia a lower overall project cost, improved traveling safety, economic enhancement and completion of the project sooner than traditional financing.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Branch Highways will design, build and widen 37 miles of the Route 58 corridor between Hillsville and Stuart as funding sources are identified. . The corridor extends southwest from Hillsville and continues east through Carroll, Floyd, and Patrick Counties to approximately one mile west of Stuart. When complete, motorists will enjoy seamless transportation from Interstate 77 to Virginia Beach.

“This is very important for Patrick County,” said Danny Foley, chairman of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors. “This marks the start of an economic boom, not only for us, but for the surrounding counties.”

“We are very excited that the Meadows of Dan bypass is complete,” said Mike Burnette, assistant county administrator for Patrick County. “We look forward to the continued construction and the completion of the project, which will bring the full potential of economic development to our area.

“The four-laning of Route 58 is a major benefit to Patrick County and the entire region. Now we can offer better access to truck traffic for future businesses and better access for tourists.”

The segment includes one mile in Floyd County. It will be the first four-lane road in the County, according to George Nestor, County administrator.

“The successful completion of the Route 58 PPTA segment shows what can be achieved when VDOT and a contractor partner in a new way,” said Richard L. Caywood, Salem district administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation. “The project was constructed on time, on budget, and with  quality. The contractor also implemented a number of innovative design  changes that enhanced the project and allowed it to be completed more  quickly.”

The U.S. Route 58 Corridor Development Program encompasses close to 680 miles and was established to enhance economic development potential across the largely rural southern portion of Virginia. U.S. Route 58 stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest tip of Virginia. About 370 miles are four lanes or more now, compared to 240 miles when the program started in 1989.

Branch Highways, based in Roanoke, has more than 40 years’ experience in civil engineering and construction. It is part of the Branch Group, Inc., which includes Branch & Associates, general contractors, construction managers and design builders; G.J. Hopkins, designers and builders of control systems, electrical systems, HVAC, plumbing and emergency response; and E.V. Williams, site development and highway construction.

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