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Recently Completed

Rockingham County - I-81 Median Barrier

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
Awarded by CTB on Nov. 18, 2009

Est Completion Date
July 31, 2010

contract value $2,386,077.00

Lengths and Limits
10.35 mile section of Interstate 81 from milepost 242.15 to 252.50

MAKCO Inc. Charlottesville




Project Details

This project includes installing high tension cable guardrail in the median and replaces existing guardrail to help reduce crossover crashes.  The project also upgrades any substandard guardrail within the median and along the outside travel lanes. The project is designed to give added protection for vehicles from crossing the median into oncoming traffic.

This project extends along a 10.35-mile narrow median section of I-81 from milepost 242.15 to 252.50 in Rockingham County.  This location starts north of exit 240 at Route 257 near Mount Crawford and Bridgewater and ends south of exit 257 at Route 11 in the Mauzy and Broadway area. The I-81median in this area is approximately 40-feet wide and has a ditch running down the center.

The use of high tension cable systems is new to Virginia and this is the first use in the Commonwealth. This new cable system can be used on steeper slopes than standard guardrail, and it works well on narrow medians since a single cable wall can protect both sides of the road.  This system also significantly reduces grading and drainage costs because it requires far less site preparation than standard guardrail.  

The 2005 traffic data on the I-81 northbound lanes in this area is 26,000 vehicles per day with trucks making up 27 percent of this amount.  For the I-81 southbound lanes in this area the count is 24,000 vehicles per day with trucks making up 25 percent of this amount.

Benefits of Project

The project is designed to give added protection for vehicles from crossing the median into oncoming traffic.

Safety projects have been completed along several areas of I-81 in recent years.  Among these projects are the interchange reconfigurations at exit 247 in Harrisonburg at Route 33 and at exit 313 in Winchester at Route 50/522.  These reconfigurations reduce traffic conflicts in the ramp area under bridges at these interchanges.  Several other safety projects include the Maury River Bridge widening and Buffalo Creek Bridge widening in Rockbridge County and various ramp widening or extension projects in the Winchester and Frederick County area.  The I-81 Rockbridge County truck climbing lane project began construction in fall 2009.

During Construction

Most of the work installing the median barrier is anticipated to be completed during nighttime hours using a single lane closure.

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Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012