By Will Soutter
The Route 460 Connector Phase I found in Buchanan County, the highest bridges of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be built with materials mined, produced and shipped in the U.S. by domestic manufacturers, producers and construction contractors.
The twin high-level bridges with a length of 1700 linear feet and an extra eight-tenths of a mile of highway are situated over Conaway Road (Route 610) and Grassy Creek, at the vital crossroads of various states such as also South-western Virginia and Kentucky. On completion, the bridges at a height of over 250 ft. will be the highest in Virginia.
All the products used in the Route 460 Connector Phase I were produced in the U.S. Only a small fraction of the reinforcing steel was generated beyond the neighboring states, from Oregon. The list of products and their distributers are: 3000 truckloads of concrete—C J Mahan Construction (Grove city, Ohio), 370 truckloads of cement—Roanoke Cement (Troutville, Virginia) and Mountain Aggregates (Elkhorn City, Kentucky), 1150 truckloads of coarse aggregate (rock)—Maymead (Mountain City, Tennessee), 700 truckloads of fine aggregate (sand)—Wythe Sand (Wytheville, Virginia) and GerdauAmeristeel (Knoxville, Tennessee), and 58 loads of reinforcing steel—MMFX Steel (McMinnville, Oregon).
The venture has given direct job opportunities to 60 persons and indirect job opportunities to hundreds from amongst engineers, architects, surveyors, labourers, inspectors, truck drivers and many more.
The piers employed to hold the bridges will be finished this summer. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is the owner of the venture valued at $113 million and Mandy Cox, VDOT project manager, is in charge of operations. Bizzack Construction of Lexington, Kentucky, is the design and build contractor.