Update 1/24/2012 1:33 PM EST: A full copy of the report can be found here: http://www.transportation.virginia.gov/initiatives/R460_EconomicImpact.pdf
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 24, 2012
Contact: Christine Chmura, Ph.D.Phone: (804) 649-3640Email: Chris.Chmura@chmuraecon.com
NEW ROUTE 460 WILL GENERATE BILLIONS IN JOBS AND BUSINESS
RICHMOND - The proposed Route 460 highway corridor between Hampton Roads and Petersburg will do more than shave drive time for motorists.
It will also inject billions of dollars into the region and create jobs in construction, services, manufacturing, and at the Port of Virginia, said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton in announcing the results of an economic impact study of the highway project.
The study was performed by Chmura Economics & Analytics, which has offices in Richmond and Cleveland.
“This new road is one of the most significant transportation infrastructure enhancements Virginia has seen in years,” said Connaughton. “Everyone will benefit, both from a safer and faster new road to the huge economic impact this project will have.”
The proposed $1.6-billion corridor will run through the counties of Prince George, Sussex, Southampton and Isle of Wight, and the city of Suffolk, directly linking Interstate 295 in Petersburg to the area around the Port of Virginia in Suffolk. The 55-mile, four-lane highway would run parallel and south of the existing Route 460.
After the project is finished, the total annual impact of the Route 460 Corridor Improvement Project is estimated at $7.3 billion through the generation of business and thousands of jobs, according to the economic analysis performed for the Commonwealth.
Hampton Roads will benefit from a $5.7-billion economic boost annually, while the corridor region will see a $2.5 billion infusion. Overall, the project can support more than 14,000 new jobs in 2020 and beyond.
Additionally, the road will help the Port of Virginia compete with Ports of Savannah and Charleston for fast-growing North Carolina markets such as Charlotte and Raleigh, and solidify its competitive advantages over these Southeast seaports.
Businesses such as hotels, gas stations, retail stores, and restaurants will spring up around interstate interchanges to better server motorists and local residents.
And the new Route 460 could accelerate the development of the two manufacturing “mega sites” in the counties of Isle of Wight and Sussex.
When the project is complete in 2020, the Commonwealth will receive nearly $60 million in sales, gas, corporate and individual income taxes. Local governments along the corridor will get annual tax benefits totaling $3.7 million starting in 2020 in the form of sales, meal, lodging and other forms of tax revenue.
“This is going to be a much faster and more efficient highway than the existing Route 460. It will have shoulders, medians and divided sections that the current road doesn’t have,” said Secretary Connaughton.
“As a result, everyone will get to where they’re going quicker - a straight shot,” he said. “That’s going to help motorists any time of the day. It will make it more attractive for businesses thinking about locating here and it will generate new business around the interchanges as well. It’s a win-win.”
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