vdot to hold public hearing on design of i 81 truck climbing lanes
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VDOT to hold public hearing this week on design of I-81 truck climbing lanes

Interstate 81
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The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a design public hearing Wednesday regarding the construction of truck climbing lanes on Interstate 81 in Augusta and Rockingham counties.

The open forum will also include interchange improvements at exit 235 (Route 256/Weyers Cave Road).

The open forum hearing will be held on July 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This project will add a third lane to northbound I-81 from mile marker 234.1 to 237.7, and southbound I-81 from mile marker 237.9 to 234.2. It also includes improvements at the interchange of I-81 and Route 256 (Weyers Cave Road) at exit 235.

The meeting will take place at Blue Ridge Community College, Plecker Center for Continuing Education at One College Lan in Weyers Cave.

The total estimated cost for this project is $127.2 million, including $10.8 million for preliminary engineering, $1.6 million for right of way and $114.9 million for construction.

The project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, which aims to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor.

The I-81 CIP was 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 in spring 2019.

Oral comments can be recorded at the meeting with the assistance of a court reporter.

Written comments can be submitted at the meeting or within 10 days after the meeting date to Jennifer Hoover, P.E., Project Manager. Virginia Department of Transportation, 811 Commerce Road, Staunton, VA 24401-9029.

Additional information about the Weyers Cave truck climbing lanes project is on the VDOT website.

More information about the CIP program is available at Improve81.org

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.