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Interstate 81 improvements begin at exits in Shenandoah County, Frederick County

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Construction is under way for ramp improvements at three interchanges along Interstate 81 in Shenandoah County and Frederick County.

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

  • Exit 291 (Toms Brook) – Acceleration lane from Route 651 (Mount Olive Road) onto northbound I-81.
  • Exit 296 (Strasburg) – Acceleration lane from Route 55/48 (John Marshall Highway) onto southbound I-81.
  • Mile Marker 304 (commercial truck weigh station) – Deceleration lane from northbound I-81 into the truck scales facility.

This week contractors for the Virginia Department of Transportation began preliminary work at all three interchanges. Overnight lane or ramp closures are possible during installation and removal of concrete barriers along the right shoulders at each interchange. Digital message signs will alert drivers to specific ramp closures and detour routes as needed.

The I-81 interchange upgrades will enhance safety and traffic operations by allowing vehicles to more effectively accelerate with interstate traffic, or slow to exit at the interchange. The project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. 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.

Additional information about the I-81 CIP is at The website includes interactive maps, timelines and details about projects that are designed to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor.

On Feb. 25, VDOT awarded a $1,694,806.64 contract to Kickin’ Asphalt Paving and Excavating LLC of Strasburg, Virginia. The project has a contract completion date of Nov. 10. All work is weather permitting.

Obtain traffic alerts and traveler information by dialing 511 or visiting For other assistance call the VDOT Customer Service Center, available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. Citizens can dial 1-800-FOR- ROAD (1-800-367-7623) from anywhere in the state to report road hazards, ask transportation questions, or get information related to Virginia’s roads.

The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. Follow VDOT 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.

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