June 2015 – July 2017
This $8.8M project included the construction of two bridges on Southgate Drive over US 460 and three precast box culverts.
The existing U.S. Route 460 Bypass/Southgate Drive was a signalized T-intersection at the primary entrance to Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. This intersection was eliminated and a new, diverging diamond interchange was constructed in a different location to accommodate current and anticipated traffic volumes. It established the northeastern terminus of the future U.S. Route 460/Route 685 Connector providing a new gateway entrance to Virginia Tech. It also allows for other roadway and shared use path relocations and connections for future improvements.
Key Challenges & Project Details
- One box culvert had very unusual geologic conditions that required extensive studies to determine the best foundation support system.
- Karst geologic conditions created foundation construction challenges for Wagman’s construction team with rock elevations varying significantly in every foundation.
Project Fun Facts
The existing traffic signal is currently the only signal between the I-81 interchange in the Town of Christiansburg and the Town of Narrows in Giles County.
Form liners to create man made “Hokie Stone” on the bridges over US 460 were molded from original Hokie Stone buildings on the Virginia Tech Campus.
The new interchange required the relocation of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture working Dairy Farm. The dairy cows couldn’t initially be moved because the new farm did not have a fast enough internet connection. Each cow is embedded with a computer chip and WiFi connectivity to track food intake, milk production and activity patterns.