VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


July 21, 2022

July 25 - 31: 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 17: Be alert to nightly lane closures on Interstate 81 at exit 17 and on Route 75 beneath the interstate as part of the I-81 exit 17 improvement project. 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: Spring 2023)

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)

I-81 acceleration/deceleration lane projects (Smyth County): Be alert to the following work zones due to projects to extend on and off ramps along I-81, allowing motorists more space to merge on and off the interstate:
• Exit 39 north/southbound deceleration lane project: Be alert to the possibility of nighttime lane closures.
• Exit 47 northbound acceleration lane project: Be alert to nighttime lane closures.

Interstate 77 – Exit 64: Motorists should be alert to work underway to improve Interstate 77 at exit 64 in Bland County. The 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: May 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
- Nighttime paving southbound between mile markers 49 and 43 in Smyth County.
- Daytime mowing operations north and southbound in Wythe and Smyth counties.
- Daytime bridge inspection work at exit 3 in Bristol July 28 and 29.
- Nighttime bridge work north and southbound between mile markers 82 and 86 in Wythe County and northbound near mile marker 36 in Smyth County.
- Nighttime pothole patching north and southbound in Washington County.
Interstate 77
- Nighttime lane closure northbound at Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. When a work zone is in place, wide loads over 12-feet must stop before entering the tunnel.

Buchanan County
Flooding in Buchanan County: Multiple routes are passable with care in the Whitewood and Pilgrims Knob areas of Buchanan County following recent flooding. Route 715 is closed due to a washed out section of the bridge located near the intersection of Route 638. Use caution in these areas and pay close attention to workers making needed repairs.

***Route 645 bridge repairs: Due to repairs to the Route 645 bridge over Levisa River near United Coal in the Big Rock area of Buchanan County, the bridge is closed and will remain closed until late July. Route 700 is the detour route during the closure. (Completion: August 2022)

Route 627 (Youngs Branch): A portion of Route 627 (Youngs Branch) in Buchanan County is closed due to a retaining wall failure. The north end of Route 627 can be accessed from Route 83.

Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A: Construction of Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A is underway in Buchanan County. Route 604 (Poplar Creek Road) is 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 80 bridge over Russell Fork River: Due to a project to rehabilitate the Route 80 (Sandlick Road) bridge over Russell Fork River in Dickenson County, motorists can expect temporary traffic signals controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. The bridge is located near the intersection of Route 605 (Russell Fork River Road). Use caution in this area and pay close attention to signs and message boards. (Completion: late 2022/early 2023)

Routes 649 and 637 – Intersection Improvements: Be alert to flaggers directing traffic at the intersection of Routes 649 and 637 in Dickenson County due to a project to improve the intersection. (Completion: mid-August 2022)

Russell County
Route 615 bridge deck replacement: Due to replacement of the Route 615 bridge deck over Norfolk Southern Railroad near Lake Bonaventure in Russell County, the bridge is restricted to one 10-foot-wide lane and controlled by traffic signals. The bridge is located .17-mile from the intersection of Route 616. (Completion: September 2022)

Scott County
Route 23 bridge over Speers Ferry: Due to work to rehabilitate the Route 23 bridge over Speers Ferry in Scott County, the northbound bridge is closed and traffic is restricted to one, 11-foot-wide lane in each direction across the southbound bridge. Motorists are advised to use caution in this area, slow down and allow extra travel time. (Completion: July 2023)

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 2022)

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)

Tazewell County
***Route 631 (Indian Creek Road) bridge repairs: Due to emergency repairs to the Route 631 (Indian Creek Road) bridge over Indian Creek in the Cedar Bluff area of Tazewell County, the bridge was closed on July 11 for approximately three weeks. The bridge is located near the intersection of Old Kentucky Turnpike. Because the needed bridge deck repairs are near the center of the bridge, the bridge will need to be closed during repairs because there will not be sufficient width to control one-lane traffic. During the bridge closure, motorists will detour using Route 699 (Green Mountain Road) and Route 637 (Limestone Road) to Route 19/460. (Completion: late August 2022)

Second Street (Route 67) Bridge over Clinch River in Richlands: Due to a bridge rehabilitation and repair project on Second Street (Route 67) in Richlands, the bridge over the Clinch River is restricted to one lane. The bridge is located west of the intersection of Allegheny Street. (Completion: November 2022)

Route 19: Be alert to daily delays on Route 19 near the Russell/Tazewell County line due to rolling roadblocks associated with blasting work. The work is due to establishing the intersection for Pure Salmon. (Completion: Summer 2022)

Route 717 (Tazewell County): A project to replace the Route 717 (Adams Drive) bridge over Bluestone River in Tazewell County is underway. Use caution in the area and watch for workers. (Completion: August 2022)

Washington County
***Route 613 (Poor Valley Road): A portion of Route 613 (Poor Valley Road) in Washington County will be closed August 1 – 12 to allow crews to perform a bridge replacement over East Fork Wolf Creek. The wooden deck and steel beam bridge, located near the intersection of Route 619 (Roan Lane), will be replaced with a prefabricated concrete bridge. Be alert to detour signs and message boards. (Completion: August 12, 2022)

***Route 80 – paving: Due to paving, a portion of Route 80 between the Russell/Washington County line and Route 613 (Poor Valley Road) in Washington County will be closed daily from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday, July 25 through Wednesday, July 27. Pay close attention to signs and message boards in the area. (Completion: July 2022)

Route 767 (Red Bud Lane): Due to repainting of the Interstate 81 bridge over Route 767 (Red Bud Lane) in the Glade Spring area of Washington County, Route 767 traffic beneath the interstate bridges is being detoured onto Route 11 and Hillman Highway beginning July 18 and remaining in place approximately three weeks. Traffic is advised to be alert to traffic pattern changes, obey construction signs and flaggers, and use caution when driving through the work zone. (Completion: August 2022)

Route 11 bridge over Sinking Creek: Be alert to a traffic shift on Route 11 at the bridge over Sinking Creek in Washington County due to a project to replace the bridge. The bridge is located near the intersection of Route 808 (Halls Bottom Road) and the Dollar General. (Completion: October 2022)

Route 58 widening near Damascus: The project to widen Route 58 near Damascus in Washington County is underway. As part of the project, Route 711 (Drowning Ford Road) was closed permanently. Virginia Creeper Trail users should be alert to the possibility of flaggers directing trail traffic. Trail users may experience periodic delays of 15-30 minutes near the bridge. (Completion: May 2024)

Wise County
Business Route 23 in Wise: A project to widen a portion of Business Route 23 in the Town of Wise between Route 23 at McDonald’s and Cherry Street is underway. Pay close attention to flaggers and allow extra travel time. (Completion: early November 2023)

***Alternate Route 58 bridge repairs: Bridge repairs are underway on eastbound Route 58 in Wise County at the bridge over Bear Creek in the Norton area. Pay close attention to signs and watch out for workers. (Completion: October 2022)

Wythe County
Route 619 bridge: Due to replacement of the Route 619 bridge over Interstate 81 exit 84 in Wythe County, motorists should be alert to one-lane traffic controlled by temporary traffic signals across the Route 619 bridge. Be alert to the possibility of slight delays on I-81 due to the bridge work above the interstate. (Completion: December 2023)

Route 642 (Old Woodway Road) bridge replacement projects: Replacement of two bridges along Route 642 (Old Woodway Road) in Lee 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: June 2, 2023