On November 7, 2023, officials marked the completion of a key segment of US Route 460 (Corridor Q). This segment extends from Breaks Park Road to VA Route 744 at Southern Gap, Virginia, spanning 8.7 miles, with a 2.5-mile overlap with the US 121 (Coalfields Expressway). This section signifies the initial completion of the Coalfields Expressway in Virginia.
Originally, Corridor Q was planned to follow the existing US Route 460 alignment from Grundy north into Kentucky. However, due to limited right-of-way availability and high projected costs, the route was realigned to run atop the mountains. In November 2020, the Virginia Department of Transportation opened the first segment of Corridor Q west of Grundy (460 Connector Phase I, marked in bright green). This .84-mile connector from Breaks to the new four-lane road includes Virginia’s highest bridge.
By November 2023, two additional phases were completed. These include a 6.15-mile stretch comprising both four- and two-lane segments of Corridor Q from the Breaks connector (460 Connector Phase II, marked in light blue on the map) to the future Coalfields Expressway interchange, completed at a cost of $27.9 million, and a 1.64-mile segment serving both Corridor Q and the Coalfields Expressway from the future interchange to VA Route 744 at Southern Gap (Hawks Nest-Alpha Section, marked in red).
The development of Corridor Q and the Coalfields Expressway is ongoing, with two more segments in progress. These segments (Poplar Creek Phases A and B, marked in bright green and purple on the map) aim to link with the existing US Route 460 near Grundy, Virginia. They are expected to be completed by 2027, finalizing Corridor Q in both Virginia and Kentucky, and completing a roughly 3-mile section of the Coalfields Expressway from near Southern Gap to Grundy.
The Coalfields Expressway, if fully funded, is planned to connect US Route 23 near Pound, Virginia, to Interstates 64 and 77 near Beckley, West Virginia. This would significantly enhance regional transport links. Currently, funding is not secured for the sections west of Corridor Q at Southern Gap and east of US Route 460 at Grundy to West Virginia.