VDOT to increase speed limit on Interstate 81 in Harrisonburg area

i81-headerThe Virginia Department of Transportation will increase the speed limit to 70 miles per hour on Interstate 81 northbound in the Harrisonburg area between mile marker 248.2 and 249. This location is about three-quarters of a mile north of exit 247 at Route 33 on the north side of Harrisonburg, where the current speed limit is 60 miles per hour. The speed limit will remain at 60 throughout the rest of the Harrisonburg corridor.

The change in the northbound speed limit will be effective once signs are installed, which is scheduled for December 17. All work is weather permitting.

VDOT completed an I-81 speed limit study for the Harrisonburg area in October 2014.  The study included a safety evaluation and crash data from the most recent five-year period, which ended December 31, 2012. The safety evaluation reviewed traffic volume, road condition and design, and roadway assets such as signs.

The study shows a relatively low number of crashes in this location within the study five-year period. Traffic volumes on this portion of northbound I-81 average 23,000 vehicles per day. The study supports raising the northbound speed limit to 70 miles per hour, which matches the limit in Rockingham County north of Harrisonburg.

The study and the proposed speed limit were reviewed with the Virginia State Police, who supported the change north of exit 247. VDOT will monitor crash data 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 andYouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at www.VirginiaDOT.org.

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