New Push to Straighten Montvale "S curves"

Bedford Co., VA - There is a renewed push for VDOT to straighten the "S curves" on U.S. 460 in Montvale.

The highway improvement project was listed in a previous 6-year plan, but was dropped because of a lack of money.

Supervisor Annie Pollard, who represents the Montvale area, asked the Commonwealth Transportation Board to put the S curves back on the list.

The curves were closed for about five months last year, after a deadly tanker crash with a fuel spill.

"It's not a real high popularity area for accidents, but when we do have accidents in there they are of significant injury," said Chief Scott Hawkins, of the Montvale Fire Department. "We've had a couple fatality accidents in that area and also the two hazmat incidents with the tankers within the past couple of years."

"A lot of people skip over the guardrail, go over in the hole. It's challenging," said First Lt. Don Johnson, of the Montvale Fire Department.

Johnson grew up here and is used to driving the S curves. His concern is for drivers who are unfamiliar with the section of road.

"You get right here and your headlights are shining, then all of the sudden you're seeing guardrail," said Johnson.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board will consider the request when developing the next 6-year plan.