Ken Slack 540-332-9264
540-414-5670 (cell)

Dec. 19, 2009

Portions of I-81 Closed in Rockbridge and Augusta Counties

STAUNTON – (12:30 p.m.) Motorists are strongly advised not to travel in the Shenandoah Valley area. Most roads are in severe condition. Snow continues to fall in the area with the potential for an additional six to twelve-inches of accumulation. Winter weather could continue into Sunday morning. Virginia Department of Transportation crews continue to clear roads and remove debris throughout the Valley area.   

Emergency crews are working to get to motorists waiting in traffic on snowy roads, but the high snow and number of vehicles make it difficult to travel.

Interstate 81 southbound is closed in the Lexington area at mile marker 188. This is in the area of exit 188 at Route 60. Traffic is being detoured at exit 191 at the I-64 interchange to Route 11 southbound and rejoining I-81 at exit 168. The closure is due to a disabled tractor trailer that occurred earlier on Saturday. Traffic in the area is backed up approximately five miles.  

Interstate 81 northbound and southbound from mile marker 205 to 211 has many disabled tractor trailers. Delays are expected in this area.

Emergency response personnel are working to move vehicles in these areas.

Motorists waiting in traffic should:

  • Stay in their cars.
  • Conserve their fuel by turning off their vehicle.  VDOT recommends running the car engine for heat for 10 minutes and then turning off the engine for 20 minutes.
  • Understand that it will take time for emergency crews to reach them, but state and local personnel are working to get to them.

Motorists should only call #77 and 911 for emergencies. Road condition information is available by calling 511 or by visiting

Motorists are reminded that ice and freezing rain conditions can still produce hazardous driving conditions, even when roads are treated. People should not drive unless absolutely necessary. People who are driving in winter road conditions should use extra caution particularly on bridges, overpasses, curves, hills and ramps.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. In areas where 511 is unavailable, dial 1-866-MY511VA (866-695-1182). Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at  

For a chart of winter weather road conditions go the site, look to the left side of the page and click on the “Road Conditions” bar. A map will appear with color coded roads. Right above the map is a link reading: “Click here for a list of road conditions, including secondary roads”. Click on this link, then in the drop-down box click on the desired county or Virginia statewide. A text box of road conditions will appear.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

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.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012