Jen Ward 540-387-5238
Sept. 20, 2017
MAJOR TRAFFIC CHANGES COMING TO EXIT 150 WITH ROUNDABOUT AND INTERSTATE 81 ON-RAMP OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Caution advised as drivers become accustomed to new traffic patterns
SALEM —The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Botetourt County held a ribbon cutting today to celebrate the opening of the new roundabout, northbound on-ramp to Interstate 81 and the dedicated turn lane to northbound Route 220 from I-81. This portion of the $46.7 million project is scheduled to open overnight on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday morning, September 24, weather permitting.
When the new roundabout opens, it will include the following traffic changes:
- A new roundabout will connect Route 11, Gateway Crossing and I-81 northbound to enhance traffic flow and increase capacity at the interchange.
- A new ramp from Route 11 onto northbound I-81 will be open and accessible through the roundabout. The northbound on-ramp to I-81 directly from Route 220 will close.
- Drivers exiting I-81 northbound onto exit 150B towards Daleville and Fincastle will use the new dedicated right turn lane onto northbound Route 220 to accommodate the heaviest traffic movement at the Route 11/220/220A intersection. To allow for free-flowing traffic to move from the off-ramp onto northbound Route 220, this dedicated right lane will not have a signal.
- The new signals previously installed at the Route 11/220/220A intersection will be active.
- A detour for southbound Route 11 will be in place as the next phase of the project begins. Southbound Route 11 between the roundabout and the intersection of Route 11/220/220A will be closed to traffic. Drivers needing access to southbound Route 11 will use the roundabout to detour through Gateway Crossing to continue southbound.
The exit 150 roundabout is a multilane roundabout that has two lanes as the driver approaches from the I-81 exit ramp. Drivers should use the right lane to turn right at the first exit point of the roundabout and use the inside lane to go half way or three-quarters of the way around the roundabout. When driving through the roundabout, motorists should follow these tips:
- Slow down and yield to all traffic within the roundabout.
- Select your lane as you approach the roundabout.
- To enter the roundabout, yield to cars already within the intersection and wait for a gap in traffic.
- Do not change lanes within the roundabout.
- Once you are in the roundabout, use your turn signal as you prepare to exit the roundabout.
- Be sure to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists as you approach the roundabout and within the crosswalks.
During the next phase of construction, crews will be working on the following:
- Replacing Route 11’s center turn lane between the roundabout and the Route 11/220/220A intersection with a raised median with no left turns allowed
- Modifying exit 150A to allow right turns only onto Route 11 southbound to eliminate hazardous merges onto Route 220 southbound
- Removing the access to northbound I-81’s on-ramp from Route 220Drivers may see periodic lane closures in the work zone area as the next phase of construction begins. Signs and message boards will alert drivers and direct traffic.
Drivers are encouraged to:
- Pay close attention and follow signs and pavement markings that will guide them through the roundabout and interchange.
- Be patient with others as drivers in the area learn to acclimate to the new traffic changes.
The project is on schedule to be substantially completed by December 2017. Remaining incidental work will continue through summer 2018.
Resources for drivers on how to use the roundabout, including graphics and videos, and more information about the project are available on VDOT’s website at http://www.virginiadot.org/exit150Improvements.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.