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 June 2017)

U.S. 460
Both pillars and all abutments for the new on/off ramp bridge have been installed and the bridge beams are expected to be installed in summer 2017.

Southgate Drive
The new roundabout at Southgate Drive and Duck Pond Drive is fully operational. The finishing touches will be completed in summer 2017 in preparation for the new four-lane Southgate Drive opening in December 2017.

  • West Route 460, between South Main and existing Southgate Drive, will be closed at night/during the weekend beginning July 5 while construction crews erect the bridge beams.

Huckleberry Trail
The Huckleberry Trail has several detours in place while sections of the trail are improved. The new trail will include trail roundabouts and improvement alignments with better sight distance to improve safety.

  • A detour will be in place on the section of the Huckleberry Trail along the existing Discovery Drive (to Farm Road) beginning June 16 while construction crews pave the road. Pedestrians and bikers should use caution as trucks and heavy equipment will be in operation in the area.

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.