The long-awaited US Route 460 Connector Phase I Project is now open to traffic, connecting southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky
Buchanan County, VA-TSX, NYSE: STN
Leading global design firm Stantec celebrates the opening of the US Route 460 Connector Phase I Project, which includes the tallest twin bridges in Virginia at 265 feet. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) design-build project begins at the Kentucky state line and proceeds one mile east as part of the larger US Route 460 Corridor Q Project, which will improve transportation, encourage tourism, and boost economic development through central Appalachia.
The project includes three Stantec-designed bridges: the Hunts Creek Bridge and the Grassy Creek Twin Bridges. The 302-foot long Hunts Creek Bridge carries US Route 80 over US Route 768 and Hunts Creek.
The Grassy Creek Twin Bridges are six-span, 1,733-foot long bridges that cross US Route 610 and Grassy Creek. Design was complicated by the mountainous terrain and remote location, which made it difficult to procure construction materials. In addition, coal seams were present at several bridge piers, while the Pine Mountain Thrust Fault lay directly beneath two piers. To overcome these challenges, the Stantec team designed the spans as cast-in-place segmental bridges, built one piece at a time utilizing an on-site concrete plant set up by the contractor.
“The opening of the US Route 460 Connector is tremendously exciting, and something that the community has been looking forward to for many years,” said Dr. Tony Hunley, Stantec Vice President, Bridges. “These new bridges will provide a link between southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky as part of the larger US Route 460 Corridor Q Project, helping to improve transportation and encourage tourism.”
As the overall project design manager for the bridge design-build team, Stantec managed field surveying; geotechnical, roadway, and structure design; permitting; right-of-way and mineral acquisition; and relocation of utilities.
The bridge design-build team included Janssen & Spaans Engineering, Inc. (Structures Design), Bizzack Construction, LLC (Prime Contractor), C.J. Mahan Construction Company, LLC (Bridge Subcontractor), and AMT Construction, Inc. (Engineering Inspection).
The Grassy Creek Twin Bridges were named a Number 1 Bridge Project by Roads & Bridges Magazine, commended for a design that adapted well to “tough mountainous and unstable terrain.” Additionally, the bridges were recognized with an Award of Excellence from the American Segmental Bridge Institute. “Given the challenges, it’s amazing such a beautiful, tall, slender structure is the result,” the judges commented.
Stantec’s Transportation practice creates the connections that get people and goods moving safely and efficiently—whether by car, bus, train, plane, or their own two feet. Ranked among the Top 10 International Design Firms in Transportation by Engineering News-Record, Stantec provides planning, engineering, and infrastructure management services that fit client needs and improve the overall transportation experience. To learn more, visit: stantec.com/transportation.
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