VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


May 20, 2022

May 23 - 29: 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: Two 24-hour, multi-day lane closures are planned for I-81 northbound at exit 17 due to a hydrodemolition bridge project. The first lane closure will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 5 and will remain in place until 6 a.m. Thursday, June 9. The second lane closure is planned for 8 p.m. June 12 through 6 a.m. June 16.

Local traffic is advised to seek alternate routes to avoid significant interstate traffic backups, especially during the afternoon hours. Motorists traveling through the area should research alternate routes to avoid congestion or travel through the work zone during non-peak travel times such as mornings and overnight hours.

The project is part of the overall Interstate 81 exit 17 improvement project, which 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)

Cove Road Bridge Over I-81: Due to work to replace the Cove Road bridge over Interstate 81 in Wythe County, be alert to periodic delays on I-81 and on the Cove Road Bridge. Use caution in this area and pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: Summer 2022)

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 Exit 47 northbound acceleration lane project (Smyth County): Be alert to north and southbound delays weekdays around 2:30 p.m. due to blasting work associated with the project extend the acceleration lane. Blasting work will take place weekdays through early 2022. Virginia State Police will perform traffic “slow rolls,” allowing time for the blasting to occur. (Completion: late July 2022)

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)

Interstate 77 bridge deck repairs: Be alert to lane closures on Interstate 77 near mile marker 47 in Bland County due to bridge deck repairs. The work zone is located near Big Walker Mountain tunnel. (Completion: spring 2022)

***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: This week, be alert to the following lane closures due to maintenance activities:
Interstate 81
- Daytime lane closures between mile markers 52 and 54 in Smyth County due to installation of rumble strips along the shoulder.
- 24-hour consecutive lane closure near exit 72 in Wythe County due to bridge deck repairs. Be alert to a 16-foot right lane closure Monday through Friday.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs northbound at mile markers 9 and 25 and southbound near mile markers 17 and 23 in Washington County
- Nighttime roadway sweeping in Wythe County.
- Nighttime pavement marking application work in Wythe and Smyth counties.
- Nighttime pothole patching in Washington and Smyth counties.
Interstate 77
- Nighttime lane closure north and southbound at Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. When a work zone is in place, wide loads over 12-feet must stop before entering the tunnel.
- Daytime bridge deck repairs southbound near mile marker 41 in Wythe County.
- Nighttime roadway sweeping in Wythe County.

Buchanan County
Route 627 (Youngs Branch): A portion of Route 627 (Youngs Branch) in Buchanan County is closed until retaining wall repairs can be made in the coming weeks. During the closure, 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
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 19: This week, be alert to mowing along Route 19 in Russell County (weather permitting).

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 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)

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 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: Spring 2022)

Route 717 (Tazewell County): The project to replace the Route 717 (Adams Drive) bridge over Bluestone River in Tazewell County is underway and the bridge is closed to traffic. Until the bridge is replaced motorists will continue detouring around the bridge using Route 102 and 643, a distance of less than one mile. (Completion: August 2022)

Washington County
***Route 11 bridge over Sinking Creek: Be alert to traffic shifts 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
***Route 640 (Duncan Gap Road): Due to slide repairs, a portion of Route 640 (Duncan Gap Road) in Wise County is temporarily closed. Pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: late June 2022)

***Route 706 (Tacoma Mountain Road): Due to slide repairs, a portion of Route 706 (Tacoma Mountain Road in Wise County will be restricted to one lane and traffic will be controlled by a temporary traffic signal. (Completion: early June 2022)

Route 23 – slide repairs: A traffic detour is in place along Route 23 southbound at mile marker 50.8 in Wise County between Pound and Wise, with traffic detoured onto Route 823 (Old Indian Creek) due to slide repairs. (Completion: mid-June 2022)

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: late July 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)

Cove Road Bridge Over I-81: Due to work to replace the Cove Road bridge over Interstate 81 in Wythe County, be alert to periodic delays on I-81 and on the Cove Road Bridge. Use caution in this area and pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: Summer 2022)

***Route 662 (Falls Road): A pipe replacement project on Route 662 (Falls Road) in the Comers Rock Community of Grayson County is complete (as of 4 p.m. Friday, May 20).

Route 604 – bridge replacement: Replacement of the bridge over Big Walker Creek on Route 604 in Bland County is complete.

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 completed; however, be alert to the possibility of mobile lane closures next week and a few finishing items are completed. (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: May 20, 2022