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VDOT releases I-73 Henry County alternative route study

Last week, the Virginia Department of Transportation released a preliminary impact study on an alternate route for Interstate 73 through Henry County. The route, which moves I-73 closer to Martinsville, was suggested to VDOT by the Henry County Board of Supervisors nearly two years ago.

The board suggested the route for quicker and closer access to the Patriot Centre at Beaver Creek, Martinsville industrial parks, and Martinsville Speedway.

The alternate route would consist of eight Martinsville area exits compared to six interchanges on the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative was approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) in 2004.

The alternate plans would add 1.8 miles to the route and cost more. A result of the added length and additional interchanges. Though no current businesses would be impacted by the suggested alternative; it does impact more residences. And while the HCBoS route has less impact to wetlands and stream crossings; it has greater environmental impacts on local flood plains.

The alternate plan's next steps - the CTB has to see if the alternate routing is worth studying further. And with legal issues on the overall routing of I-73 still yet to be resolved, it may be closer to a year until the CTB takes this option into consideration.

Story: VDOT issues study on I-73 alternative ---Martinsville Bulletin

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