Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration announced on Wednesday that a contract with U.S. 460 Mobility Partners has been terminated with regard to the southeastern Virginia Route 460 development project.
The administration states that, although development on the route will continue, it was decided amongst administrative staff that it is in the best interests of Virginia taxpayers to seek alternative contracts, Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne explained.
“The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), with the support of the McAuliffe administration, has provided a notice of termination to U.S. 460 Mobility Partners for Route 460 construction,” Layne said. "VDOT tried to work with the contractor to deliver the revised project in a cost effective manner. These efforts proved unsuccessful. The state will aggressively pursue all options available to do what is best for the public interest."
The contract was originally awarded in 2012 as a part of the previous administration. McAuliffe suspended work on the project that would have created a 55-mile highway with limited access, running alongside Route 460 from Suffolk to Petersburg, in March of 2014. This was due to the project's impact on wetlands and that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would not grant a permit.
The next step for VDOT is to determine a way to continue the project that also minimizes environmental impact. They have determined a new location for Route 460 corridor improvements, which would improve 17 miles of the route between Suffolk and an area west of Zuni.