VDOT completes eight ramp extension projects along I-81 corridor

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VDOT contractors recently completed eight ramp improvements at six interchanges throughout the Interstate 81 corridor.

The upgrades include extension of acceleration and deceleration lanes (on- and off-ramps). All projects were completed ahead of schedule.

VDOT Bristol District

  • Exit 26 (Emory), Washington County: W-L Construction & Paving Inc. of Chilhowie, Virginia, extended the acceleration lane from Route 737 (College Drive) onto southbound I-81, and the deceleration lane from southbound I-81 onto Route 737. Contract value was about $1 million.

VDOT Salem District

  • Exit 89 (Hillsville/Pulaski), Pulaski County: Adams Construction Company of Roanoke, Virginia, extended the acceleration lane from Route 100 (Wysor Road) onto northbound I-81. Cost was about $800,000 as part of a larger paving contract.

VDOT Staunton District

  • General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton, Virginia, completed the following projects under a contract with a value of about $2.1 million:
  • Exit 269 (Shenandoah Caverns), Shenandoah County: Extension of the deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 730 (Caverns Road)
  • Exit 279 (Edinburg), Shenandoah County: Extension of the acceleration lane from Route 185 (Stoney Creek Road) onto southbound I-81
  • Exit 283 (Woodstock), Shenandoah County: Extension of the acceleration lane from Route 42 (Reservoir Road) onto southbound I-81
  • Exit 302 (Middletown), Frederick County: Extension of the acceleration lane from Route 627 (Reliance Road) onto northbound I-81, and the deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 627

These interchange upgrades allow drivers additional time to make speed adjustments on the entrance and exit ramps before merging with interstate traffic, or encountering sharper curves and stop conditions on exit ramps.

The ramp extension projects are part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam in spring 2019.

Additional information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is at Improve81.org. The website includes interactive maps and timelines, and details about upcoming and current projects that are designed to improve safety, increase reliability, and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor.


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