Interstate 81 sinkhole work in Shenandoah County rescheduled for July 12
Northbound Interstate 81 motorists can expect single left-lane closures and a possible closure of all northbound lanes July 12-13 for sinkhole repairs in Shenandoah County.
Motorists should be prepared to use alternate routes.
The Virginia Department of Transportation will repair a sinkhole located along the northbound I-81 left shoulder at mile marker 268.4 in Shenandoah County. The work zone set-up begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, extending from mile marker 266.5 to mile marker 269. The left lane and left shoulder will be closed within the work zone area.
This location is between exit 264 at Route 211 in the New Market area of Shenandoah County and exit 269 at Route 730 near Shenandoah Caverns.
Once the work zone is established, it will remain active until the repairs are complete. Repairs may extend into the day on Wednesday, July 13. It is possible, but unknown at this time, if both northbound lanes will need to be closed.
All work is weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, the sinkhole repairs will be rescheduled for July 13-14.
The size, shape and location of the sinkhole in relation to the travel lanes will determine how long the lane closure will remain. Once excavation begins crews can determine if the hole is located under the shoulder or if it also extends under the left lane and possibly under the right lane.
Work to stabilize the hole includes determining its size and the stability of the surrounding ground before back-filling it and repairing any disturbed ground and roadway areas. The I-81 travel lanes have an asphalt depth of approximately 10 inches, which will need to be replaced and cooled before reopening. The time to replace the asphalt and cool it to acceptable temperatures for travel can take several hours to approximately one day.
No detour is planned as the work zone begins, but if traffic begins to back up on I-81 travelers will be directed off of I-81 at exit 257 at Route 11 near Mauzy in Rockingham County and travel north on Route 11, rejoining I-81 at exit 269. Exit 264 will be closed at Route 211 in New Market due to tight turning areas for trucks trying to access Route 11 northbound.
If a full northbound closure is needed additional alternate route suggestions will be provided at that time.
The sinkhole was discovered during routine work. A temporary patch on the hole was made on May 27. VDOT crews are monitoring the hole until final repairs can be made.
All work is weather permitting.