A new gateway to the south end of Virginia Tech’s campus opened Thursday.
A grade-separated, diverging diamond interchange at the intersection of U.S. 460 and Southgate Drive debuted during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon with representatives from Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the town of Blacksburg.
VDOT’s $38.7 million interchange project creates a new Southgate Drive entrance, which leads vehicles to a roundabout on Duck Pond Drive. Beyond the roundabout, the road heads directly to the university’s athletics facilities, including Lane Stadium and English Field at Union Park, the baseball stadium.
Southgate Drive from the new traffic circle to U.S. 460 is closed permanently.
A feature of the new entrance is a bridge built over U.S. 460 and made of concrete stained to replicate Hokie Stone.
The new interchange will improve safety for the Virginia Tech community and all who use the U.S. 460 corridor, said President Tim Sands during Wednesday’s ceremony.
“We are opening a beautiful new entrance to our campus, one that we can all be proud of,” he said. “Its value to Virginia Tech goes far beyond its beauty. It will give us better access to this growing infrastructure that supports our vision for the university.”
This new interchange features a diverging diamond traffic pattern, known for helping to reduce congestion by moving traffic quickly through an area. It directs traffic to the left side of the road, while requiring vehicles to drive briefly on the opposite side of the road.