Planned airport improvements

Construction Photos

Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus continues to evolve to better suit the needs of its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. The next few years will see substantial changes to the Southgate Drive entrance off of U.S. Route 460 and the north end of campus, all with the goal of improving car, bus, bicycle, and foot traffic.

A major Virginia Department of Transportation project will significantly change the entrances to the south end of the Virginia Tech campus.

VDOT is building a new grade-separated interchange to replace the intersection of Southgate Drive and U.S. 460 and relocate Research Center Drive to allow for the expansion of the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport. The 1,000 foot runway and safety zone extension will permit use by larger airplanes and help support the region’s economic development efforts. The new Research Center Drive will roughly follow an existing farm road and connect Innovation Drive in the Corporate Research Center to a roundabout intersection with the new Southgate Drive at Duckpond Drive via a new on/off ramp bridge being constructed over U.S. 460. The new interchange and Southgate realignment should be open for traffic by Dec 2017 with the final completed project by Dec 2018, based on VDOT’s schedule.

Branch Highways Inc. out of Roanoke, Virginia, is the contractor for the $38.7 million project.

Construction of the interchange began in the spring of 2015. The Dairy Science Complex was moved to Kentland Farm prior to the start of construction.

Ongoing construction:

Please visit the Traffic Alerts webpage for up-to-date information on traffic impacted by construction.

(Updated December 2017)

New Interchange (U.S. 460 – Southgate Drive)
Upon completion of the installation of pavement markings, the new Southgate Interchange will be opened to traffic on Thursday, Dec. 14, (time dependent upon drying of pavement marking).  While the new roadways will be open to traffic, construction will continue along portions of the project.

Existing Southgate Drive
The existing section of Southgate Drive between Route 460 and Duck Pond Drive will be closed permanently on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Existing Research Center Drive
The existing Research Center Drive will be remain open for a short period (likely to close later this winter).

Huckleberry Trail
New sections of the Huckleberry Trail have been opened to traffic and important grade separated trail crossings have been improved.  Several sections of the trail are still under construction and will be opening soon.

For more information, including maps and videos, visit VDOT’s Southgate Connector website.

For more information

Virginia Tech: Mike Dunn, transportation and planning engineer, 540-231-7641

Virginia Department of Transportation: Jen Ward, communications specialist, 540-387-5238.

Latest news

For the latest news about the project and the impact to traffic on campus visit here.