VDOT News - Bristol
Michelle Earl 276-696-3283
June 3, 2021
Multiple projects underway, coming soon for Interstate 81 in Southwest Virginia
Funding provided through I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
Bristol, VA – As part of the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan (CIP) funding program, in 2021 the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will have approximately $140 million in projects underway, beginning construction, or in the public involvement phase in Wythe, Smyth and Washington counties.
The I-81 CIP was approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in spring 2019.
“To already have this amount of work scheduled or underway two years after the program’s inception shows Virginia’s strong commitment and dedication to improving I-81,” said David Covington, P.E., I-81 Program Delivery Director.
Following are the Bristol District projects moving to construction in the second half of 2021:
- A $2 million safety project southbound between mile marker 38.1 and 39.2 in Smyth County, adding a high-friction epoxy overlay that will improve traction during wet weather and adding fencing to prevent animals from crossing the interstate.
- A $2.7 million project to extend the acceleration lane southbound at exit 47 in Marion.
- A $2.1 million project to extend the deceleration lane northbound at mile marker 38.9 in Smyth County.
- A $2.1 million project to extend the deceleration lane southbound at exit 39 in Smyth County.
- A $2.5 million project to extend the acceleration lane southbound at mile marker 43 in Smyth County.
The following Bristol District projects are underway or beginning this summer:
- A $4 million shoulder stabilization project between mile markers 32 and 54 north and southbound in Smyth and Washington counties is underway.
- A $2.3 million project to extend the southbound deceleration lane at exit 84 in Wythe County begins this summer.
- A $1.6 million project to extend the deceleration lane northbound at exit 67 in Wytheville begins this summer.
- A $1.6 million project to extend the deceleration lane northbound at exit 19 in the Abingdon area begins this summer.
- A $7 million design-build contract was recently awarded to A&J Development and Excavation, Inc., Mt. Crawford, Va., to extend the acceleration lane northbound at exit 48 in Marion. Design begins soon and construction is set to begin late 2021.
VDOT will be soliciting public feedback for two Bristol District projects in 2021:
- A public meeting will be held this summer for a proposed $22.1 million project to improve the Interstate 77 exit 41 (Peppers Ferry Road) interchange. Because of the project’s proximity and impacts to the I-81 corridor, it is also being funded by the program. Construction is anticipated to begin fall 2023.
- A public meeting will be held this fall for a proposed $28 million project to widen I-81 southbound between mile marker 9.6 and 8 in Washington County to three lanes. Construction is anticipated to begin spring 2024.
This spring, VDOT held a virtual public meeting for three truck climbing lane projects along the corridor, with a combined value of $61.3 million: northbound at mile marker 32.4 in the Glade Spring area of Washington County, northbound at mile marker 39.5 in the Seven Mile Ford area of Smyth County, and southbound at mile marker 34 in Washington County. The truck climbing lane northbound at mile marker 39.5 will be advertised for construction bids in June 2022 and the other two truck climbing lane projects will be advertised summer 2023.
Lastly, four new digital message signs will be installed this year in Wythe County: north and southbound at mile marker 74.7, southbound at mile marker 78.6 and northbound at mile marker 79.6.
For more information about the I-81 CIP, visit https://www.improve81.org. (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.