Roanoke County is hosting an open house-style community meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at Bonsack Elementary School for the U.S. 460/Challenger Avenue Land Use and Connectivity Study.  

The U.S. 460 corridor located between Interstate 581 and Botetourt County has been identified as a regional priority for improvements to address congestion and safety. In 2020, this roadway carried the second-most traffic in the Roanoke Valley, behind only I-581 and U.S. 220. 

Challenger Avenue in Roanoke County handles an average of 32,000 vehicle trips per day and  includes two of the county’s top five crash locations at West Ruritan Road and at Cloverdale  Road, according to a release from Roanoke County.

The Virginia Department of Transportation worked with localities to study the Orange Avenue and Challenger Avenue corridor in  2019 and 2020 to determine potential solutions to reduce  congestion and to improve safety. Six projects from this study received a total of over $43  million from the Commonwealth Transportation Board and from the Roanoke Valley  Transportation Planning Organization in 2021 to begin addressing these issues. Project design  and construction is anticipated to occur over the next five to seven years. 

Building upon that VDOT study and the funded projects, Roanoke County began the U.S. 460 Land Use and Connectivity Study in 2021 to focus on three goals: 

1. Recommend ways to travel around the Bonsack community that are alternatives to U.S. 460/Challenger Avenue; 

2. Consider existing zoning classifications and future land use designations to determine  potential changes to match desired development types; and 

3. Examine existing at-grade railroad crossings for potential improvements that may create  development opportunities between the railroad and the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

According to the release from the county, “At the open house-style meeting where attendees may come and go as they please between 4  p.m. and 6 p.m., county staff and consultants would like to hear about area roadways in need  of improvements, desired bicycle and pedestrian improvements, what land uses and  development types are preferred, existing railroad crossings and thoughts on potential for  development between the railroad tracks and the Blue Ridge Parkway. “

A survey that asks questions related to the study goals is also open until Jan. 28. More  information is available at along with a link to the  survey. 

A second community meeting will be held in May.