Interstate 81 ramp at Exit 245 to close briefly for improvement project

Port Republic and Forest Hill

Photo courtesy City of Harrisonburg

Drivers will not be able to exit Interstate 81 northbound at Exit 245/Port Republic Road for a brief period in March as crews work to prepare for a realignment of the current northbound exit ramp.

The exit ramp will be closed March 9-11 as crews conduct infrastructure work needed for the realignment, which is currently under construction in hopes of being completed this summer.

The City of Harrisonburg has scheduled the preliminary work for early March to coincide with James Madison University’s spring break to cause as little traffic disruption as possible. Both southbound ramps, and the northbound on ramp, will still be accessible.

While the ramp is closed, drivers will be directed to use Exit 247 at East Market Street. Notices and detour signs will be placed at both exits. Drivers also may experience temporary lane closures on Port Republic and Forest Hill roads during this time.

Once completed, the ramp realignment will relocate the northbound off ramp to make it align with Forest Hill Road. The project seeks to improve the safety of drivers on Port Republic Road and of those trying to access Forest Hill Road after exiting the interstate.

The project also will relocate the James Madison University R-10 and R-11 parking lot entrance to Hunters Road, and the university has been a significant partner in the overall project – providing all needed right of way and easements for the project at no cost to the city.

The City was awarded a Virginia Department of Transportation Smart Scale grant for the realignment.


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