U.S. Route 460 in Virginia
runs east-west through the southern part of the state. It has two separate pieces in Virginia, joined by a relatively short section in West Virginia
. Most of US 460 is a four-lane divided highway
US 460 from Interstate 81 at Christiansburg west to Pikeville, Kentucky, including the piece in West Virginia, is Corridor Q of the Appalachian Development Highway System. From West Virginia east to I-81, US 460 is also part of the proposed Interstate 73.
Most of present US 460 or its former alignments was part of the initial state highway system defined in 1918. Specifically, the following pieces existed:
Kentucky to West Virginia
In late 1921, the Virginia State Highway Commission
recommended that the General Assembly
add the road from State Route 11
(now U.S. Route 19
) at Claypool Hill
northwest to Grundy
to the state highway system as a spur of SR 11 to provide "an easterly outlet from Buchanan County
". This spur was assigned the designation State Route 11X
by 1923, and later that year it became State Route 111
. It was renumbered State Route 126
in the 1928 renumbering
and State Route 84
in the 1933 renumbering
. A 6.38-mile (10.27 km) extension from Grundy northwest towards Kentucky was added in 1932, and the rest to the state line was added in 1936. In the 1940 renumbering
, SR 84 was renumbered State Route 4
to match Kentucky Route 4
West Virginia to Norfolk
In the early 1970s, the former Virginian Railway
right-of-way along the north bank of the New River
eastward from a point near the VA-WV state line near Glen Lyn
was acquired by VDOT
's predecessor agency from the Norfolk and Western Railway
to enable four-laning of the highway through the narrow space between the river and rocky bluffs. (The N&W main line follows the south bank through this area).
From Lynchburg east to Suffolk, the highway was built closely following the main line of the Norfolk and Western Railway (now Norfolk Southern), in many places.
Popular legend has it that William Mahone (1826-1895), builder of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad and his cultured wife, Otelia Butler Mahone (1837-1911), traveled along the newly completed Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad naming stations. Otelia was reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. From his historical Scottish novels, Otelia chose the place names of Wakefield as well as Windsor and Waverley. She tapped the Scottish Clan "McIvor" for the name of Ivor, a small town in neighboring Southampton County.
As they continued west, they reached a station in Prince George County where they could not agree on a suitable name from the books. Instead, they became creative, and invented a new name in honor of their dispute. This is how the tiny community of Disputanta was named.
The N&P railroad was completed in 1858. William Mahone became a Major General in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, and later, a Senator in the United States Congress. After the War, he was also a major force in linking three trunk railroads across a southern tier of Virginia from Norfolk to Bristol to form the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad, the principal predecessor of the Norfolk and Western.
William and Otelia Mahone made Petersburg their family home in their later years. In modern times, a large portion of U.S. Highway 460 between Petersburg and Suffolk is named General Mahone Boulevard in his honor.