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Rockingham County - I-81 Exit 247 at Route 33

Interchange Modification

Project Photos

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
Contract awarded February 12, 2009

Est Completion Date
August 15, 2009

Cost
$718,517.06 Contract amount

Contractor
General Excavation, Inc. of Warrenton, Va.

Locality
Harrisonburg

District
Staunton

Contact

Project Details

The improvements include removing the cloverleaf northwestern loop, which is the on-ramp for traffic entering I-81 from Route 33 westbound lanes. In its place a 350-foot left-turn lane will be constructed on Route 33 near the existing southwestern ramp. At this location a new crossover and traffic signal will be installed, which will allow Route 33 westbound traffic to turn left to access southbound I-81 using a new short connector to the current southwest ramp. Eastbound Route 33 traffic entering the southwestern ramp will yield to vehicles entering the ramp using the new connector.

Additionally, the deceleration lane for traffic leaving southbound I-81 for Route 33 west will be extended 200 feet with an additional 180-foot taper. This will provide motorists using this I-81 off ramp more time to reduce their speed and enhance safety.

Benefits

The project will improve the traffic pattern at the I-81 and Route 33 interchange at exit 247 in Harrisonburg. The interchange was constructed in the late 1950s in a cloverleaf configuration. Currently the I-81 southbound side of the interchange is experiencing twice the number of accidents as the northbound side. With this interchange configuration, the right I-81 southbound lane services traffic both exiting and entering Route 33, creating a weaving traffic pattern. This conflict point in the right I-81 southbound lane is the location of many traffic accidents.

Traffic Alert

A major traffic pattern change and signal work will occur the week of June 22 as part of a project to redesign traffic flow at the Interstate 81 exit 247 at Route 33 in Harrisonburg.

Mast arms for the Route 33 traffic signal will be installed on Monday, June 22 at 9 p.m. Once installation is complete, the signal will go into flash mode.

The signal will be placed into full operation between 11 p.m. Monday, June 29 and 2 a.m., Tuesday, June 30. After the signal is in full operation, the southbound on-ramp to I-81 will be closed permanently and traffic will be switched to the new pattern.

Motorists are urged to drive with caution in the area of the new signal as drivers become acquainted with its operation.
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Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012