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Under Construction

I-81 New River Bridge Replacement

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
Early 2017

Est Completion Date
Late 2020

$48 million


Miranda Tuell
(540) 381-7125

Project Description

The northbound Interstate 81 bridge over the New River is located at the Montgomery and Pulaski county line at mile marker 105. The Route 232 bridge over I-81 is located at exit 105 (Radford) and crosses over the Interstate. 

The primary purpose of this project is to:

  • replace the northbound bridge and widen the shoulders and approach to the bridge on Interstate 81 at the New River
  • reconstruct the Route 232 overpass to accommodate widening of the interstate
  • improve northbound deceleration lane lengths by adding an extended deceleration lane that will provide an additional factor of safety for traffic entering or exiting from Interstate 81.

The current bridge was originally constructed in 1965.

Project Timeline

The project began in winter 2016 and the project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

The contract was awarded to Vecellio and Grogan Inc. from Beckley, West Virginia.

Traffic Impacts

The new bridge over the New River will be built in the median parallel to the existing structure, so two lanes of traffic can be maintained in each direction on I-81 during construction. Drivers can expect periodic lane closures on Interstate 81. Speed is reduced to 60mph in the work zone.

JUNE 2017:
Alternating left and right, north and southbound lane closures will be in place, Sunday through Fridays evenings from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Demolition of the Route 232 bridge over I-81 is expected to continue through the end of June. Drivers may see concrete and beam cutting as the bridge is removed in sections. Heavy equipment including a crane will be in the area. 

Nighttime lane closures with slow rolls will be in place while the old beams of the bridge are removed. Slow rolls will be 15-20 minutes in length and motorists should plan their travel accordingly.

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Page last modified: Aug. 16, 2017