The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is building a new, grade-separated interchange to replace the intersection of Southgate Drive and U.S. 460 and relocate Research Center Drive. This will allow for the expansion of the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport. The 1,000 foot runway and safety zone extension will permit use by larger airplanes and help support the region’s economic development efforts.
The new Research Center Drive will roughly follow an existing farm road. The road will connect Innovation Drive in the Corporate Research Center to a roundabout intersection with the new Southgate Drive at Duckpond Drive via a new on/off ramp bridge being constructed over U.S. 460.
Based on VDOT’s schedule, the new interchange and Southgate realignment is expected to be open for traffic by December 2017, with the full project completed by December 2018.
(Updated August 2016)
Both pillars for the new on/off ramp bridge have been installed and the road has been widened. Work continues on the new grade-separated interchange being built approximately 1,900 feet southeast of the current traffic signal on U.S. 460 at Southgate Drive.
The first phase of construction on the new roundabout being installed on Southgate Drive and Duckpond Drive has been completed and the second phase is now underway. During this construction, traffic is being rerouted to travel on the north (completed) side of the roundabout while crews begin working on the south side. This traffic pattern is expected to be in place for several months until the south side of the roundabout is completed.
The Huckleberry Trail has a detour in place while a section of the trail, between the existing underpass for the old farm road and existing Research Center Drive, is under construction. Construction crews are removing the existing underpass and building a new underpass for the new Research Center Drive.
Virginia Tech Project Manager
VDOT and AMT
For additional information, read the Virginia Tech News article about the Southgate Project, visit the VDOT Southgate Connector Website, or contact Mike Dunn at 540-231-7641.
Above the Virginia Tech bush on Southgate Drive looking southwest
At new off ramp to Southgate Drive looking toward new bridge
At new interchange looking toward campus