VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


Oct. 16, 2020

October 19-25: 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 – Exit 19: A safety improvement project at Interstate 81 exit 19 in the Abingdon area is underway. Be alert to periodic day and nighttime lane closures on Route 11 and Empire Drive, as well as nighttime work zones along the southbound I-81 ramps. The project includes realigning a portion of Empire Drive, widening a curve along the southbound off ramp, and adding traffic signals at the intersection of newly aligned Empire Drive and Route 11 and where Route 11 intersects with the end of the exit 19 southbound ramps. (Completion: Summer 2022)


I-77 bridges over Cove Creek: Be alert to a project to replace the Interstate 77 bridges over Cove Creek in Wythe County, located about two miles north of Interstate 81 between mile markers 44 and 42. Motorists can expect an altered traffic pattern on southbound I-77 and periodic nighttime lane closures while work is underway. (Completion: early 2023)


Interstate 81 bridges at Atkins: A project to replace the Interstate 81 bridges near mile marker 52 in the Atkins area of Smyth County is underway. Be alert to shoulder closures through the work zone and the possibility of lane closures on Route 11 beneath the bridges. The speed limit in the work zone is 60 mph. (Completion: Fall 2022)


Interstate 81 – bridges over Reed Creek: Due to replacement of the Interstate 81 bridges over Reed Creek in Wythe County, be alert to altered traffic patterns in the work zone. Traffic is restricted to two 11-foot-wide lanes with no shoulder. The bridges are located about one-mile north of the I-77 split at I-81 exit 81. The speed limit through the work zone is 60 mph. Allow extra travel time and watch out for workers. (Completion: Fall 2021)

***Interstate 81 – bridges over Mulberry Lane: Traffic is now traveling on the new I-81 north and southbound bridges over Route 686 (Mulberry Lane) in Smyth County near exit 50. However, in the coming weeks be alert to periodic lane closures due to finishing work. Mulberry Lane is closed underneath the interstate. The speed limit through the work zone is 60 mph. (Completion: November 2020)


***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: This week, be alert to the following activities along Interstates 81 and 77:

Interstate 81

  • Daytime mowing operations north and southbound between mile marker 27 in Washington County and the Smyth/Wythe county line. Be alert to left lane closures at various locations.
  • Due to bridge repairs, be alert to a day and nighttime lane closures on southbound I-81, where I-81 splits off to I-77 north at exit 72 in Wythe County. Pay close attention to signs warning motorists of the work.

Interstate 77

  • Tunnel maintenance at East River Mountain Tunnel will require a southbound nighttime lane closures this week. When a lane closure is present, wide loads over 12-feet must stop before entering the tunnel.


Buchanan County

Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A: Construction of Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A is underway in Buchanan County. Impacts on motorists are minimal because the majority of the work is on a new location; however, the project has created a permanent change for Route 614 (Woods Fork). 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 miles 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.


Dickenson County

***Route 675 bridge replacement: Due to replacement of the Route 675 (Palmer Street) bridge over Mill Creek in Dickenson County, Route 675 will be closed to traffic at the intersection of Route 664 (Clinchco Main Street) beginning at 7 a.m. October 26 and remaining in place until 5 p.m. October 30. Be alert to signs and message boards informing motorists of the closure. (Completion: October 30)

Route 16 – bridge repairs: Temporary traffic signals are controlling one-way traffic on Route 16 in the Mouth of Wilson area due to bridge repairs. Use caution in this area and be alert to workers. (Completion: late November 2020)



Lee County

Route 58 improvements: A project to install rumble strips and widening shoulders along Route 58 in Lee County is underway. The project is located between Route 70 and the intersection of Route 604. Be alert to workers and signs. (Completion: fall 2020)


Route 58 bridge over the Powell River: Due to replacement of the Route 58 bridge over the Powell River near Jonesville in Lee County, signals are controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. Use caution in this area and allow for slight travel delays. (Completion: fall 2021)

Russell County

***Route 601 (Hurricane Fork Road) slide repairs: Route 601 (Hurricane Fork Road) in Russell County is closed from Route 621 (Sandy Ridge Road) to Route 618 (Rabbit Ridge Road) until late October. The closure is necessary to ensure safety during the work due to significant excavation work associated with this project. Motorists should detour using Route 621 (Sandy Ridge Road), Route 600 (Wilder Road), and Route 618 (Rabbit Ridge Road). (Completion: late October 2020)


Route 80 from Rosedale to the Buchanan County Line: Be alert to a shoulder closure on Route 80 between Rosedale to the Buchanan County line, through the town of Honaker, due to work installing paved shoulders, rumble strips and line striping along the shoulder. Rumble strips are a safety enhancement that change the noise a vehicle’s tires make on the road, alerting drivers they are veering off the roadway. (Completion: November 2020)



Scott County

Route 23 access improvements/Park and Ride: Be alert to a long-term lane closure on southbound Route 23 in the Moccasin Gap area of Scott County due to an access management project. The project also includes adding a Park and Ride lot near the intersection of Route 23 and Route 619 (Filter Plant Road). Pay close attention to work zone signs and watch for workers. Allow extra travel time, especially during morning and afternoon hours when commuter traffic volumes are high. (Completion: Fall 2021)


Utility Installation: Be alert to utility installation work along Route 870 (Daniel Boone Road) and connecting secondary highways 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)


Tazewell County

Pisgah Road over Fairground Creek in Tazewell: The Pisgah Road bridge closed to traffic October 9 and will remain closed until March 2021 for replacement.  Traffic will detour onto US Route 19/460 while the replacement bridge project is underway.  (Completion: March 2021)


Route 19 (Virginia Avenue) bridge over Wrights Valley Creek (Bluefield): Be alert to an altered traffic pattern on Route 19 at the bridge over Wrights Valley Creek near Bluefield due to reconstruction of the bridge. Use caution in the area and pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: July 2021)

Route 783 – road improvements: Be alert to periodic delays on Route 783 in Tazewell County due to ditching, drainage and pavement improvements. (Completion: early October 2020)

Washington County

***Route 762 (Loves Mill Road) bridge replacement: Due to replacement of the Route 762 (Loves Mill Road) bridge in the Abingdon area of Washington County, the bridge will be closed October 19 – November 2. Traffic will detour using Golden Glow Drive. Because Golden Glow Drive is a narrow route, motorists are advised to use added caution. (Completion: November 2)



Route 83 – retaining wall repairs: The retaining wall repair project on Route 83 in Buchanan County is complete.

Route 23 – median shoulder improvements: A project to improve the median shoulder area on Route 23 between Norton and Duffield is complete.

Route 751 (Sturgill Road): Repairs to the Route 751 (Sturgill Road) bridge over Big Helton Creek in Grayson 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. 16, 2020