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Improvements under way at I-81 interchanges in Shenandoah, Frederick

Photo Credit: carterdayne/iStock Photo

Contractors for the Virginia Department of Transportation have begun ramp improvements at four interchanges along Interstate 81 in Shenandoah and Frederick counties.

The upgrades include extension of acceleration and deceleration lanes (on- and off-ramps) at the following exits on I-81:

  • Exit 269(Shenandoah Caverns) – Deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 730 (Caverns Road).
  • Exit 279(Edinburg) – Acceleration lane from Route 185 (Stoney Creek Road) onto southbound I-81.
  • Exit 283(Woodstock) – Acceleration lane from Route 42 (Reservoir Road) onto southbound I-81.
  • Exit 302(Middletown) – Acceleration lane from Route 627 (Reliance Road) onto northbound I-81, and deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 627

This week contractors began placing concrete barriers along the right shoulders of I-81 at exits 269, 279 and 283. Barrier installation requires overnight right lane closures. The barriers will remain in place 24/7 to protect the work zones during construction of the ramp extensions. Motorists can expect occasional on- or off-ramp closures during overnight hours at these interchanges through early August 2020.

When work at the first three interchanges is complete, contractors will begin work on the acceleration and deceleration lanes for northbound I-81 at exit 302. At all locations, variable message boards will alert drivers to specific ramp closures and detour routes.

The I-81 interchange upgrades will improve safety and traffic operations by allowing vehicles to more effectively accelerate with interstate traffic, or slow to exit at the interchange. The upgrades are part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2019. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in spring 2019.

On March 30, VDOT awarded a $2,153,924 contract to General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton, Virginia, for the I-81 ramp extensions. The project has a contract completion date of November 20, 2020. All work is weather permitting.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile friendly website at Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

augusta free press
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