Grove, Virginia - Modern Times - U.S. Route 60 Relocation Project

U.S. Route 60 Relocation Project

For several years in the early 21st century, James City County has worked to improve US Route 60 between Grove and Newport News. Officials wanted to provide better access to Interstate 64 from the industrial sites in Grove, which generate a considerable volume of truck traffic, and reduce the same on the existing roadway.

Access for the industrial traffic to I-64 requires a drive of about 4 miles (6.4 km) in either direction on two-lane sections of U.S. 60 at non-highway speeds through residential areas. They must share the road with local traffic and school buses serving either the James River Elementary School's county-wide magnet program or alternatively, the large elementary school in the Lee Hall community in neighboring Newport News.

In June 2007, Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board approved a major portion of the funding needed for the U.S. Route 60 relocation project. The relocated divided highway will begin on its western end near the current intersection of Blow Flats Road. The new alignment will take it through the Greenmount Industrial Park to reach the Newport News city limits. There, a new crossing of Skiffe's Creek will be built. The remainder of the roadway will continue on a new alignment and effectively bypass the two-lane portion of U.S. Route 60 through the historic Lee Hall community. It will rejoin the current highway near the cloverleaf intersection of Fort Eustis Boulevard, where there is four-lane access close by to exit 250 of Interstate 64, as well as an extant four-lane section of U.S. Route 60. In separate projects, portions of Warwick Boulevard east of Fort Eustis in Newport News are being widened to six lanes. Fort Eustis Boulevard is also being widened to four lanes between Jefferson Avenue and U.S. Route 17 in Newport News and York County.

A similar roads issue was earlier visited in the 1930s, when the current parallel State Route 143 (Merrimack Trail) was built as part of a four-laned through-route alternative to U.S. 60 for increasing volumes of east-west through traffic in the area. Once again, plans have been made to preserve the two-lane, bucolic nature of Route 60 through the Grove and Lee Hall communities, and to avoid the major impact which would have resulted by widening the road through these historic communities.

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