LAUREL FORK — Branch Highways has begun the second year of construction to widen an 8.2 mile section of U.S. 58 in Carroll, Floyd and Patrick counties with approximately 100 workers on site.
In the first year of work, Branch performed a significant amount of preliminary work, including design, right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation, and began construction activities on the new alignment of the project in the Laurel Fork area.
“We have assembled a great team for this project”, said Pete Copes, Branch’s General Superintendent.
Currently, construction is centered in Carroll County in the Big Reed Island Creek area to the Carroll-Floyd County line, where grading and drainage work is underway. Motorists should be aware that there will be some minor delays where construction activities may temporarily reduce the road to one lane. Branch Highways will post employees to facilitate the flow of traffic.
A subcontractor, Steve Martin’s Trenching/ D.L. Harrell Construction, is performing storm water management basin work for Branch Highways. Steve Martin’s Trenching is based in Martinsville, and D.L. Harrell Construction in Meadows of Dan. “We employ a large number of workers who live in Carroll, Floyd and Patrick counties,” said Copes.
The project will require excavating approximately 1.7 million cubic meters of rock and dirt, laying 15,000 meters of drainage pipe, installing 10,000 meters of guardrail and placing 135,000 metric tons of asphalt.
“Branch Highways recognizes the significant value of this project to these counties,” added Copes. “The purpose of widening Route 58 is to strengthen economic development and enhance traffic safety in this area.”
The Laurel Fork project is the third phase of the Route 58 corridor under a Comprehensive Agreement between VDOT and Branch Highways to widen 36 miles from Hillsville to Stuart as state funding becomes available. The first segment, a three-mile Blue Ridge Parkway crossing at Meadows of Dan, was completed in 2006. The second segment, the 5.2 mile Hillsville by-pass, was completed in 2011.
VDOT entered into the agreement with Branch Highways under the Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA). In 1995, the General Assembly passed the PPTA allowing private companies to propose innovative solutions for design, construction, financing and operating transportation improvements. Benefits of the PPTA are lower overall cost and quicker project completion, along with improving safety and strengthening economic development.