Governor Ralph Northam today announced a comprehensive agreement to construct the $207 million Route 460/121 Poplar Creek “Phase B” project in Buchanan County. This is the final phase of a longstanding highway project that extends 127.5 miles in Virginia from the Kentucky state line near Breaks Interstate Park to Interstate 81 near Christiansburg.
The project — known as Corridor Q — is part of the National Highway System. Poplar Creek Phase B is just under two miles in length and will be a two-lane roadway with climbing lanes as needed, stretching from the east end of U.S. 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A near U.S. 604 (Poplar Creek Road) to existing U.S. 460 at Grundy.
Corridor Q is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, authorized by Congress in 1965 as part of the Appalachian Development Act. “Due to the rugged terrain, the final miles of Corridor Q in Virginia mark some of the most challenging to construct,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine in a statement. “These new miles of roadway are anticipated to be finalized in mid-2026 and will enable safer and more efficient transportation options while creating opportunities for economic growth in the region.”
While the majority of funds used for the Corridor Q projects in Buchanan County to date have been state matched federal funds, the advancement of the construction of Poplar Creek Phase B at this time was made possible by flexibility provided by the 2020 Transportation Omnibus Legislation, the governor’s office said.
A distinctive feature of the Corridor Q projects in Buchanan County is the use of the coal synergy process. VDOT and its public-private partner Bizzack Construction LLC, incorporated the coal synergy process into the majority of the projects, reducing road-building costs by using larger earth-moving machinery traditionally used by coal companies to prepare the road bed to rough grade, and allowing the company to recover merchantable coal reserves during the road bed preparation.
Bizzack Construction LLC has performed the majority of the design and construction for the new portions of roadway, as well as serving as contractor on past widening projects in the Grundy area.