VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


Sept. 13, 2019

September 16-22: 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: Be alert to nighttime lane closures due to bridge work on Interstate 81 at exit 19 in Abingdon (Washington County). Use caution in this area 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 alert to maintenance activities along the shoulder and median areas of Interstates 81 and 77, and lane closures due to the following activities:

  • Nighttime cleaning of the tunnel walls at I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel at the Virginia/West Virginia border. All wide loads over 12 feet must stop before entering the tunnel during the work.
  • Daytime lane closures on I-81 north and southbound between Bristol and Emory (mile markers 8 to 26) due to vegetation control activities.




***This week (weather permitting), be alert to milling and/or paving along Route 460 in Tazewell County, Routes 680 and 622 in Bland County, Route 80 in Washington County, Route 23 in Wise County, and Route 650 in Smyth County. Pay close attention to work vehicles and flaggers, and also be alert to the possibility of delays.


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)


***Route 601 (Little Creek Highway): The Route 601 (Little Creek Highway) bridge over Little Walker Creek in Bland County will be closed for replacement from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday (September 17). The bridge is 1.6 miles from Route 603 and 8.45 miles from Route 600. (Completion: September 17, 2019)



Buchanan County

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)


***Route 460: Due to slope repairs, be alert to delays during daylight hours on Route 460 in Buchanan County from Route 655 (Lynn Camp) to just east of Route 700. Anticipate flaggers and temporary traffic signals controlling traffic Mondays through Saturdays until October 11. (Completion: October 11, 2019)


Dickenson County

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. 

Route 72 bridge work: Be alert to signals controlling one-way traffic across the Route 72 bridge in the Georges Fork area of Dickenson County. Wide loads over 10 feet will not be permitted while bridge work is underway. The bridge is located a quarter-mile south of Route 83 near Clintwood. (Completion: October 14, 2019)


***Route 72 – slide area: Signals are controlling one-lane traffic on a section of Route 72 in Dickenson County due to slide repairs. This week, be alert to guardrail installation and paving in the work zone. The work zone is located .35-mile north of Route 634 and 1.65 miles from Route 663. (Completion: September 2019)



Lee County

***Route 811 bridge over Indian Creek: Replacement of the Route 811 bridge over Indian Creek is nearing completion and traffic will move to the new bridge in the coming weeks; however, motorists will continue using a temporary bridge downstream until that time. Be alert to the possibility of flaggers during daytime hours in the work zone. (Completion: October 2019)

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)


***Route 224: Be alert to the project to straighten a portion of Route 224 in Scott County. Flaggers will periodically direct traffic during daylight hours, use caution in this area. (Completion: September 2019)

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 688 (Old Prater Road): The Route 688 (Old Prater Road) bridge over Staley Creek in Smyth County will be closed for replacement September 23 through October 7. The bridge is located near the intersection of Route 16, just north of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Marion office. Pay close attention to message boards warning motorists of the closure and plan alternate routes during the replacement. (Completion: October 7)


***Route 800 (St. Clair’s Creek Road): One of two wooden deck bridges along Route 800 (St. Clair’s Creek Road) in Smyth County has been replaced with a pre-fabricated concrete bridge. The second bridge is being replaced and is closed. Crews plan to finish the project mid-week (around September 17), weather permitting. Use caution in this area and pay close attention to signs warning motorists of the temporary closure. (Completion: September 2019)


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)


Route 609 bridge over Little River at Wardell: A project to reconstruct the Route 609 bridge over Little River in the Wardell area of Tazewell County is underway. Use caution in this area and be alert to signals controlling one-way traffic that is restricted to 10-feet-wide across the bridge. (Completion: October 2019)



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)

Wythe County

***Route 619 (Gleaves Road) bridge: The Route 619 (Gleaves Road) bridge over Tank Branch in Wythe County will be closed from 9 a.m. September 23 until 5 p.m. September 27. The closure allows VDOT the opportunity to make needed repairs to the bridge. (Completion: September 27)



Sewer line installation: The sewer line installation project along Route 706 in the Tacoma area of Wise County is complete.        (END)

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: Sept. 13, 2019