Home Traffic alert: I-81 improvements continue with overnight delays near Staunton starting Sunday
Local, Public Safety

Traffic alert: I-81 improvements continue with overnight delays near Staunton starting Sunday

interstate 81
(© Eli Wilson/Wirestock – stock.adobe.com)

Motorists can expect overnight delays on northbound and southbound Interstate 81 near Staunton between mile marker 221 and 225 starting Sunday night, April 14, 2024.

Contractors for the Virginia Department of Transportation will use signs and concrete barriers to shift travel lanes to the outside toward the right shoulder. The work is scheduled to take place during nighttime hours from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. starting Sunday night and last for two weeks.

Each step could take two to three days and is expected to be performed in the following order:

  • Widening the northbound and southbound I-81 right lane by four feet, temporarily creating a 16-foot-wide right lane.
  • Shifting the northbound and southbound I-81 left lane over four feet, restoring both lanes to original 11-feet width but four-feet farther from the median, into the existing shoulder.

The travel-lane shifts will allow contractors to add a third northbound and southbound lane to I-81 between exit 221 (I-64 interchange) and exit 225 (Route 262 north). Widening will take place to the inside toward the median and will include roadway, drainage and median work. Shifting I-81 traffic to the outside uses existing strengthened shoulders and shoulder widening constructed in fall 2023 through early spring 2024.

Signs and digital message boards will advise motorists of the traffic shifts. All work is weather permitting.

The project 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 in Virginia.

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.