VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


Nov. 5, 2021

November 8-14: 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 35: A project to widen a portion of Route 107 beneath Interstate 81 at exit 35 at Chilhowie is underway. Be alert to the possibility of ramp work and periodic delays on Route 107. Watch out for highway workers in the project area. (Completion: September 2022)

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 traffic shifts through the work zone. The speed limit in the work zone is 60 mph. (Completion: Fall 2022)

Interstate 81 – Exit 17: The exit 17 project includes improvements to the exit 17 northbound on and off ramps, improvements to a segment of Route 75, reconstruction and relocation of Gravel Lake Road, lengthening the I-81 southbound on ramp, and relocation of the frontage road located adjacent to the northbound exit 17 off ramp. The speed limit is 60mph through the work zone. (Completion: Fall 2022)

***I-81 Acceleration/deceleration lane projects: Be alert to narrow or closed shoulders at the following locations due to projects to extend acceleration or deceleration lanes on I-81, improving safety by providing more space to slot to exit at an interchange or to accelerate before merging with interstate traffic:

• Exit 19 northbound deceleration lane (Washington County): narrowed shoulder northbound at exit 19 in the Abingdon area. (Completion: Spring 2022)
• ***Exit 47 northbound acceleration lane (Smyth County): Beginning Tuesday (November 9) at 2:30 p.m., be alert to north and southbound delays due to blasting work associated with the project. The blasting work will continue weekdays at 2:30 p.m. Virginia State Police will perform traffic “slow rolls,” allowing time for the blasting to occur. (Completion: late July 2022)
• Exit 67 northbound deceleration lane (Wythe County): right shoulder closure northbound near exit 67 in Wytheville. (Completion: November 2021)

Interstate 77 – Exit 64: Motorists should be alert to a southbound lane closure on I-77 at exit 64 in Bland County. Lane closures will be in place weekdays through November 5. The Interstate 77 exit 64 improvement project includes maintenance repairs to the I-77 bridges over Route 61 and Clear Fork Creek and improvements to the exit 64 northbound and southbound ramps. (Completion: Spring 2023)

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)

***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: This week, be alert to the following lane closures due to maintenance activities:
Interstate 81
- 24-hour bridge repairs southbound near exit 35 in Chilhowie (Smyth County) from 6 a.m. Sunday through 10 a.m. Thursday.
- Nighttime guardrail work northbound between mile markers 85 and 88 in Wythe County.
- Daytime bridge deck repairs northbound near exit 72 in the Wytheville area.
- Daytime vegetation control activities north and southbound between mile markers 27 and 54 in Washington and Smyth counties.
- Daytime pavement patching southbound between mile markers 76 and 74 in Wythe County.
- Daytime paving southbound near exit 47 in the Marion area of Smyth County and southbound between mile markers 30 and 32 in Washington County.
Interstate 77
- Nighttime southbound lane closure at East River Mountain Tunnel Sunday through Thursday nights due to tunnel maintenance. All wide loads over 12-feet must stop before entering the tunnel during the nighttime lane closures.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs southbound near mile markers 45 and 47 in Wythe County and mile marker 62 in Bland County.

Bland County
***Route 622 (Birch Grove Road): Due to bridge repairs at two locations on Route 622 (Birch Grove Road) in Bland County, a portion of the road will be closed from November 8 until December 15. The bridges will be repaired consecutively and are located .80-mile from Route 626 east and .70-mile from Route 626 east. Be alert to detour signs and message boards. (Completion: December 15)

Buchanan County
Hurley flooding – impacted roads: Following recent flooding in the Hurley area of Buchanan County, efforts are underway to make needed repairs on Routes 646, 647, 697 and 711. Use caution in these areas and be prepared for potential lane closures and short-term delays. Pay close attention to signs and flaggers. (Completion: late December 2021)

Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A: Construction of Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A is underway in Buchanan County. On September 17, the temporary closure of Route 604 (Poplar Creek Road) was lifted and the route is now open on a temporary alignment. The Poplar Creek Phase A project created a permanent change for Route 614 (Woods Fork). Access to the north and south ends of Route 614 is via Routes 609 (Bulls Creek Road) and Route 604 (Polar Creek Road), respectively, which connect to Route 460 west of Grundy.

Dickenson County
Route 83: Be alert to the possibility of delays along Route 83 in Wise and Dickenson counties from the intersection of Route 631 (Mill Creek) near Pound to the Buchanan County line due to a project to add paved shoulders with rumble strips and improve guardrail along Route 83. Be alert to flaggers and pilot vehicles leading motorists through the work zone. (Completion: early December 2021)

Lee County
Route 58 truck climbing lane at Powell Mountain: A project to add a truck climbing lane to Route 58 at Powell Mountain in Lee County is underway. The project will add a 1,000-foot truck climbing lane to the west side of Powell Mountain, improving safety by providing motorists a safer way to pass trucks on the steep grade. Be alert to periodic delays and watch for workers. (Completion: September 2021)

Russell County
Route 663 bridge replacement: Due to replacement of the Route 663 (Rocky Ford Road) bridge over Weaver Creek in the Artrip area of Russell County, the bridge closed in early September and will remain closed approximately four months. The detour route during the closure is via Routes 616 and 600. (Completion: December 2021)

Smyth County
***Route 107 improvements – Chilhowie: A construction project is underway on Route 107 at its intersection with I-81 in the Chilhowie area of Smyth County. The project will improve how traffic moves by widening and installing a turn lane on Route 107 and the I-81 off ramps. During the project, two 11-foot-wide lanes will be open to traffic, however, there will be periodic lane closures for some operations. Due to safety concerns, pedestrian traffic will not be allowed through the work zone for the duration of the project. Motorists should expect delays during construction and are encouraged to find alternate routes. Be alert to traffic pattern changes, obey construction signs and flaggers, and use caution when driving through the work zone. (Completion: September 2021)

Route 11/107 intersection improvements – Chilhowie: A project to improve the intersection of Route 11/107 in the Chilhowie area of Smyth County is underway. Be alert to the possibility of periodic, temporary lane closures during the project. Most work will occur during daylight hours; however, there will be instances of nighttime work as needed. (Completion: late August 2022)

***Route 11/Railroad Drive intersection improvements: A project to improve the intersection of Route 11/Railroad Drive in the Marion area of Smyth County is underway. Use caution in this area and be alert to flaggers. (Completion: late August 2022)

Washington County
***Route 710 (Sweet Hollow Road): Due to the replacement of three metal pipes with concrete pipes and headwalls, the Route 710 (Sweet Hollow Road) bridge in Washington County will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. Monday (November 8). The pipes are located .4-mile from Route 711 and just under two miles from the Tennessee state line. Once this pipe replacement is complete, crews will move north to perform a similar project on Route 710 about 1.10 miles from Route 711. Each project will take approximately three weeks. (Completion: December 19)

***Route 11/19 intersection improvements in Abingdon: This week, be alert to nightly lane closures between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights (November 7-11) at the intersection of Routes 11 and 19 in Abingdon. Be alert to the possibility of temporary nighttime detours onto Russell Road to access Route 11. The project will improve traffic flow by adding a second right turn lane from Route 19 onto southbound Route 11 as well as traffic signal changes to accommodate the second right turn lane. Be alert to the possibility of delays. (Completion: Spring 2022)

Wise County
Shawnee Avenue bridge replacement: Due to the replacement of the Shawnee Avenue bridge in Big Stone Gap, the bridge is closed. Use caution in this area and pay close attention to detour signs. (Completion: late 2021)

Route 83: Be alert to the possibility of delays along Route 83 in Wise and Dickenson counties from the intersection of Route 631 (Mill Creek) near Pound to the Buchanan County line due to a project to add paved shoulders with rumble strips and improve guardrail along Route 83. Be alert to flaggers and pilot vehicles leading motorists through the work zone. (Completion: early December 2021)

Wythe County
***Route 779 (Francis Mill Road): A bridge replacement project on Route 779 (Francis Mill Road) in Wythe County will close a portion of the route from 9 a.m. November 8 until 5 p.m. November 12. The bridge is located .05-mile from Route 721 and 0.10-mile from Route 602. (Completion: November 12)

Cove Road Bridge Detour: Due to work to replace the Cove Road bridge over Interstate 81 in Wythe County, the bridge is closed. The bridge is currently scheduled to reopen prior to Thanksgiving. Use caution in this area and pay close attention to detour signs. (Completion: Summer 2022)

***Route 617 (Kimberlin Road): A pipe replacement project temporarily closed a portion of Route 617 (Kimberlin Road) in Wythe County until 5 p.m. November 19. The project is located 1.6 miles from Route 735 and at the intersection of Route 680. Plan alternate routes. (Completion: November 5)

I-81 Acceleration/deceleration lane projects: The project to add a southbound deceleration lane at Interstate 81 exit 84 in Wythe 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: Nov. 5, 2021