Amendment makes Route 60 repaving priority; expected to start this Spring
For several months, citizens and travelers of Route 60 (Pocahontas Trail) in New Kent have sounded off at board meetings about the deplorable road conditions. Now, a bill passed during this session of the General Assembly will result in that thoroughfare being repaved over a three-year period.
In two separate press releases from both New Kent County and the office of Delegate Chris Peace, House Bill 30 has passed that will repave 19 miles of the four-lane highway. In total, more than 76 miles will be repaved (38 miles in each direction) beginning as early as late March. The total scope of the project is pegged to cost $15,940,000.
New Kent Board of Supervisors’ chairman Thomas Evelyn and County Administrator Rodney Hathaway said Friday morning (Feb. 2) that discussions with Chris Peace over the issue within the last few months prompted the delegate to push amendment. In Peace’s press release, he met with Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT) to prioritize the resurfacing. The delegate pointed out in his press release that he also pushed the bill because of the expansion of Interstate 64 to three lanes from exit 200 (Interstate 295) to exit 205 (Bottoms Bridge).
Residents complained at a majority of regular board meetings in 2017 to VDOT representatives about Route 60. Among the top concerns included uneven pavement sections, pothole patching, and motorists slowing down to avoid structural damage to the vehicle.
The maintenance plan for Route 60 is laid out into three stages. In 2018, the highway will receive paving westbound from Foxwell Road to Layfield Drive, eastbound from Route 249 to Toe Ink Sub Area Entrance, and eastbound from S. Mountcastle Road to Route 629 (E. Int.). Cost of the first phase is estimated at $4.24 million and will cover 10.54 directional miles.
In 2019, 6.17 directional miles will be addressed, all on eastbound Pocahontas Trail. Areas expected to be repaved are from the Henrico County Line to Route 249 (New Kent Highway), from west of Rte. 647 to Old Telegraph Road, from South Waterside Drive to Carter Road, and from Toe Ink VDOT Area Headquarters to Route 615. Cost of this phase is pegged at $5.6 million.
In 2020, a $6.1 million repaving project will address 8.7 directional miles on Pocahontas Trail in the westbound direction. Resurfacing will run from the Henrico County line to the Entrance of Toe Ink VDOT Area Headquarters, and from Rte. 1101 to Old Telegraph Road.
Evelyn commented about the hard work that was put into the amendment.
“I want to thank Del. Chris Peace and all the hard work he put into getting this done,” the chairman said in a phone interview. “We have heard from the citizens on how important it was to get this issue addressed and it became of priority of his.”
Likewise, Peace thanked New Kent County leaders in his press release.
“I want to say a special thank you to County Administrator Rodney Hathaway, Sheriff Joe McLaughlin, and Supervisor Ron Stiers for making the trip up to the General Assembly to testify in the Appropriations Committee in support of Route 60,” Peace said in his release. “I also want to thank Chairman [Thomas] Evelyn for his leadership in this matter.”