Windsor council opposes closing of Buckhorn DrivePublished 9:51am Thursday, October 11, 2012
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
WINDSOR—The Windsor Town Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to oppose the closing of Buckhorn Drive for the construction of the new Route 460.
Members are concerned about this road because Commonwealth Gin is located here. They fear the closure would hurt the business.
It was noted that the cotton gin is a prominent economic asset to the region.
Mayor Rita Richardson said the Virginia Department of Transportation has not made a final decision.
“We have to keep the issue in front of VDOT and the governor,” said Richardson. “We were told that no decision will be made until a contractor is hired, and that VDOT has the final say.”
Tom Alphin, vice president of Commonwealth Gin, said Wednesday he also believes a closure would adversely affect the business because cotton trucks and tractor trailers would need to use secondary roads, which would add mileage, time and expense.
“Moreover, having accessible fire protection is extremely important to any business, especially cotton,” Alphin said. “By terminating Rt. 610 (Buckhorn Drive), firefighters and equipment would be delayed if a fire should break out in the ginning or warehouse operations. This also is important to nearby residents that would be negatively impacted.”
Drivers’ safety on an alternate route is a concern, Alphin said.
“Rt. 610 in front of the Cotton Gin is only approximately 20 feet wide and has a blind curve that creates an immense safety issue,” he said. “In fact, trucks are prohibited on 610 just a few miles down the road.”