Speed limit to increase on Interstate 81 in Winchester area

i81-headerThe Virginia Department of Transportation will increase the speed limit to 70 miles per hour on Interstate 81 in the Winchester area between mile marker 312.9 and mile marker 316.16.  This location is near exit 313 at Route 17/50/522 and exit 317 at Route 11 on the north side of Winchester. The previous speed limit was 60 miles per hour.

The new speed limit will be effective once signs are installed.  Sign installation is scheduled to begin on October 29.  All work is weather permitting.

VDOT conducted a speed limit study during the summer of 2014 at the Winchester location.  The study reviewed crash data from the most recent five year period, which is December 31, 2007 to December 31, 2012.  A safety evaluation was done as part of the speed limit study. The safety evaluation reviewed the road condition and design, roadway assets such as signs, and traffic volumes.

The study shows that no fatalities have occurred in this location within the study five-year period. Traffic volumes on this portion of I-81 range from 57,000 to 62,000 vehicles per day in both directions.  The study supports raising the speed limit to 70 miles per hour.

The study and proposed speed limit changes were reviewed with Winchester Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.

Crash data will be monitored after the new speed limit is established.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at 511Virginia.org. 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. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr,Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at www.VirginiaDOT.org.


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