Home Commonwealth Transportation Board provides $101m to widen I-81 near Staunton

Commonwealth Transportation Board provides $101m to widen I-81 near Staunton

interstate 81
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Interstate 81 between exits 221 and 225 in Augusta County near Staunton has received funding for widening.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $101 million design-build contract to Kokosing Construction Co. Inc. of Westerville, Ohio.

Construction is expected to begin fall 2023 and be completed in four years.

“These improvements will certainly make I-81 safer and less congested through the Staunton area,” I-81 Program Delivery Director Dave Covington said. “We are excited about this partnership with the Kokosing team, which has already helped deliver some major transportation projects across the Commonwealth.”

Widening I-81 will improve safety and travel reliability along northbound and southbound between the exits.

Specific improvements:

  • One additional northbound lane from the Route 250 (Jefferson Highway) on-ramp at exit 222 to the Route 262 (Woodrow Wilson Parkway) off-ramp at exit 225.
  • One additional southbound lane from the Route 262 on-ramp at exit 225 to approximately 1,200 feet south of the I-81 bridge over the I-81 southbound / I-64 eastbound ramp.
  • Widening and deck replacement for five bridges within the project limits.

The new lanes on I-81 will mostly be constructed to the inside of the interstate along the median and allow the Virginia Department of Transportation to use existing right of way.

Two travel lanes for northbound and southbound will remain for most phases of construction. However, nighttime and overnight lane closures are possible during some portions of work, including bridge construction and concrete barrier installation. Motorists are encouraged to expect 24/7 shoulder closures and remain alert for heavy equipment moving in and out of the work zone.

Widening I-81 is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program (CIP), which aims to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor. The I-81 CIP was signed into law in spring 2019.

All work is weather permitting.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.