Warner backs increased federal funding for Interstate 81

interstate 81Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke today on the importance of increased federal funding for Interstate 81 safety improvements.

“One of the areas in Virginia where we have tremendous transportation challenges is the I-81 corridor … with the amount of traffic, and particularly commerce that flows for the whole East Coast on I-81, and the level of bottlenecks and safety concerns,” Warner said.

Warner has been vocal about I-81’s crucial role in commerce along the East Coast, and has long pushed for federal dollars to tackle necessary repairs along the highway, which runs from Tennessee, along the entirety of Virginia’s western border, and north to New York. More than one-third of all trucks that drive through Virginia and approximately half of the Commonwealth’s value of goods are transported along I-81.

In the last decade, I-81 has experienced significant traffic growth, with travel expected to continue increasing along the interstate. Increased I-81 traffic causes severe travel delays and puts travelers at risk, including the drivers involved in the more than 2,000 crashes that happen annually along the route.

Last year, in letters to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Warner requested additional funding for vital improvements to Interstate 81 in order to enhance safety and reduce traffic congestion.

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