The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has entered into an amended agreement with Branch Civil Inc. to widen 7.4 miles of Route 58 in Patrick County.
The $300 million project will improve safety on the portion of Route 58 over Lovers Leap Mountain by expanding the road from two lanes to four lanes starting 0.7 mile north of Stuart and extending to 0.3 mile east of Route 610 (Cloudbreak Road). Construction is expected to begin in summer 2021 with completion in late spring 2026.
VDOT established a public-private agreement in 2003 with Branch Civil Inc. to develop and widen 36-miles of Route 58 from Hillsville to Stuart as funding becomes available. VDOT signed an amendment to this agreement for the Lovers Leap phase in November.
“The Route 58 widening over Lovers Leap is being developed as a design-build project which means that the road design is still being completed while some work activities may begin,” explained Rob Griffith, district construction engineer for VDOT’s Salem District.
This spring, Branch Civil Inc. has started taking soil samples and gathering other geotechnical data needed to finalize the road design. Residents may notice temporary access roads and field offices being constructed in the area.
Once the design is finalized in late summer or early fall, VDOT and Branch Civil Inc. will host a citizens information meeting to provide the public with more details about the project and schedule.
The agreement is in accordance with the Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA), which was enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to allow private entities to propose innovative solutions for designing, constructing and financing transportation projects.
The Lovers Leap project will be the fourth section of Route 58 widening between Hillsville and Stuart completed under the PPTA agreement with Branch Civil Inc. Previous widening phases include the 2.7-mile bypass at Meadows of Dan completed in 2006, the 5.2-mile bypass at Hillsville completed in 2011 and the 8.2-mile Tri-County and Laurel Fork section completed in 2016.
The Virginia General Assembly created the Route 58 Corridor Development Program in 1989 to enhance economic development potential along this largely rural portion of the state.
Route 58 from Hillsville to Stuart is the last remaining section to complete the widening from Virginia Beach to Interstate 77. Once connected with I-77, the long- anticipated benefits of the Route 58 Corridor Development Program will greatly be enhanced throughout the entire region.