VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


Oct. 18, 2019

October 21 - 27: Bristol's Weekly Traffic Alert

BRISTOL – In an effort to keep motorists informed, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provides weekly information about highway construction and maintenance projects in southwestern Virginia. When traveling through highway work zones, use caution and be alert to changes in traffic patterns and slow-moving or stopped traffic.

To help motorists take the guesswork out of travel plans, call VDOT’s 511 or visit http://www.511virginia.org for real-time traffic information.

Entries with asterisks (***) indicate the listing is new or the status of the project has changed since last week’s traffic alert.



***Interstate 81 bridge work at exit 19: Due to bridge work on Interstate 81 northbound at exit 19 in Abingdon (Washington County), there will be a northbound Interstate 81 lane closure and northbound on ramp closure from 7 p.m. Friday, October 18 – 6 a.m. Tuesday, October 22. Motorists traveling from Abingdon can access I-81 northbound by following Route 11 to exit 22. Northbound access from the Damascus side of the interstate will not be impacted.  Also be alert to nighttime lane closures due to the bridge work, and pay close attention to signs and message boards. (Completion: early March 2020)


Interstate 81 – bridges over Reed Creek: Due to replacement of the Interstate 81 bridges over Reed Creek in Wythe County, anticipate periodic nighttime lane closures northbound. The bridges are located about one-mile north of the I-77 split at I-81 exit 81. Be advised the speed limit through the work zone is 60 mph, and the northbound lanes are restricted to two, 11-foot-wide travel lanes with the left and right shoulders closed. The southbound left shoulder is closed. Allow extra travel time and watch out for workers. (Completion: Fall 2021)


Interstate 81 – bridges over Mulberry Lane: Due to the project to replace the Interstate 81 bridges over Route 686 (Mulberry Lane) in Smyth County near exit 50, the southbound lanes of I-81 have been moved to the newly constructed bridge portion in the median area. I-81 is restricted to two, 11-foot-wide lanes in each direction and the left and right shoulders are closed. Additionally, Mulberry Lane is closed underneath the interstate. Pay close attention to detour signs directing traffic around the closed portion of Mulberry Lane. The speed limit through the work zone is 60 mphAnticipate lane closures on I-81 during the overnight hours during construction. (Completion: Fall 2020)


***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: This week, be the following lane closures due to maintenance activities:

  • Nighttime lane closures northbound due to tunnel maintenance at Big Walker Mountain Tunnel Sunday through Thursday night. Wide loads over 12 feet must stop before entering the tunnel during the lane closures.
  • Be alert to multiple shoulder closures along I-81 and I-77 due to maintenance activities such as debris removal and survey work.




***Anticipate paving along Jackson Street and Kane Street in the Gate City area this week.  Paving will take place during daytime hours Sunday through Friday. While paving is underway, be alert to limited parking and flaggers directing traffic. Use caution when paving teams are present and pay close attention to signs and flaggers.

Bland County

Route 666 bridge over I-77: Due to repairs to the Route 666 bridge over I-77 at exit 58 in Bland County, one-way traffic is being controlled by temporary traffic signals. Be alert to the possibility of delays. (Completion: early 2020)



Buchanan County
***Route 614 Road Closure: Construction of Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A is underway in Buchanan County, and a permanent change for Route 614 (Woods Fork) has taken effect. Poplar Creek Phase A will split a portion of Route 614 and cul-de-sacs will be added on either end of Route 614 where it ends at the new highway, approximately 2.75 miles from Route 609 at Bull Creek and 1.25 mile from Route 604 at Poplar Creek.


Access to the north and south ends of Route 614 will be via Routes 609 (Bull Creek Road) and 604 (Poplar Creek Road), respectively, which connect to Route 460 west of Grundy. 

Route 652 (Main Knox Road) - Hurley:  Be alert to flagging operations due to widening of Route 652 in the Hurley area of Buchanan County.  The project is located 5 miles east of Route 706, and ends at the West Virginia State Line. (Completion: December 2019)


Dickenson County

Route 611 widening: Work is underway to widen an approximately .20-mile section of Route 611 in Dickenson County, located about two miles from Route 742. Use caution in this area and be alert to flaggers directing traffic during daylight hours. (Completion: April 2020)


Route 605: A road washout has created the need to close a portion of Route 605 (Russell Fork River Road) in Dickenson County. The closure is 3.30 miles east of Route 80. No timeframe for reopening has been established to date.



Russell County

***Route 650 (Breezers Branch Road): The Route 650 (Breezers Branch Road) bridge in Russell County is closed until October 25 to allow crews to replace a portion of the bridge. Motorists will use Route 620 (Finney Road) to Route 650 to detour during the work.

Scott County

Utility Installation: Be alert to utility installation work along Route 870 (Daniel Boone Road) and connecting secondaries near Gate City.  The project is near the quarry pond and will extend westward to Route 789 (Sarah Circle). (Completion: February 2021)


Route 600 (Fairview Road): Be alert to water installation work and lane closures on Route 600 (Fairview Road) and connecting secondary routes in Scott County. (Completion: Fall 2020)


Utility Projects – various locations: Anticipate lane closures during daylight hours due to power line installation along U.S. Route 23 between Route 58 at Duffield and Route 625 (Anglers Way Road). (Completion: December 2019)


Route 23 bridge replacement at Weber City: Due to replacement of the Route 23 bridges over North Fork Holston River in the Weber City area of Scott County, motorists can expect one-lane traffic and a 12-foot-width restriction in each direction. The speed limit in the work zone is 35 mph. (Completion: fall 2019)



Smyth County

Route 658 (Tilley’s Bridge Road) bridge: Replacement of a portion of the Route 658 (Tilley’s Bridge Road) bridge over the South Fork Holston River in Smyth County is underway. Motorists should pay close attention to detour signs during the bridge project. (Completion: December 2020)



Tazewell County

Business Route 19 – bridge replacement: Due to replacement of the Business Route 19 bridge over the South Fork Clinch River in Tazewell, traffic is being detoured onto Ben Bolt Avenue while the replacement project is underway. (Completion: March 2020)



Washington County

Route 670 bridge replacement: The Route 670 (Green Spring Church Road) bridge in Washington County is closed for replacement. Route 658 (Lombardy Road) will serve as the detour route during construction. The bridge is located just east of Route 75. (Completion: fall 2019)



Wise County

Route 68 (Exeter Road): Delays during daylight hours are possible on Route 68 (Exeter Road) near Appalachia due to a sewer line installation project. (Completion: Summer 2020)


Route 672 bridge over Martin’s Creek: Replacement of the Route 672 (Martin’s Creek Road) bridge over Martin’s Creek in the Rose Hill area of Lee County is complete.

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. 18, 2019