VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283

Joey Barker 276-696-3333


Aug. 4, 2023

August 7-13: 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 – truck climbing lanes: A project is underway to add a truck climbing lane to Interstate 81 northbound near mile marker 39 in Smyth County. The roadway shoulder is closed during construction. Pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: May 2024)

Interstate 81 - Exit 17: Work continues to improve the Interstate 81 Exit 17 area. 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: Late Summer/Early Fall 2023)

***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: Be alert to the following lane closures due to interstate maintenance activities:
Interstate 81
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs southbound between mile markers 36 and 34 in the Chilhowie area of Smyth County. A 14-foot width restriction will be in effect.
- Nighttime paving operations southbound between mile marker 57 and 56 in Wythe County.
- Nighttime spill clean-up southbound between mile marker 76 and 75 in Wythe County.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs northbound near mile marker 6 and between exit 3 and mile marker 4 in Bristol.
- Daytime superload move northbound from the Virginia/Tennessee state line to mile marker 221 August 2-7 and August 10-11.
- Daytime brush removal southbound between exits 60 and 54 in Wythe County.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs southbound at exits 13 and 17 in the Abingdon area of Washington County.

Interstate 77
- There are no planned lane closures this week.


Bland County
Route 604 (Walkers Creek Road): Be alert to periodic closures on Route 604 (Walkers Creek Road) in Bland County due to multiple bridge replacement projects along the route. Motorists are advised to watch for changing conditions, obey construction signs, and follow detours throughout this time-period. (Completion: September 2023)

Buchanan County
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.

Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase B: Work on Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase B is underway in Buchanan County. Work is taking place from near Route 604 (Poplar Creek Road) to current Route 460 in Grundy.

Lee County
Route 23 bridge replacement: A project to replace the north and southbound Route 23 bridges over Norfolk Southern Railroad in Lee County near Jasper is underway. Be alert to one-lane traffic in each direction. Two-way traffic is running on the southbound side. (Completion: Fall 2024)

Russell County
Route 687 bridge replacement: Replacement of the bridge on Route 687 over Route 63 in the Dante area of Russell County is temporarily postponed while a temporary access road is built in the area of Roanoke Hill. Construction on the access road is expected to take approximately two months. Once the access road is built, Route 687 at the bridge will be closed to allow for the removal of the existing bridge and the construction of a new bridge. This will require temporary signals to be reinstalled on Route 63 to control one-way traffic during construction of the new bridge over Route 63. (Completion: October 2024)

Smyth County
Route 622 bridge rehab: A project to rehabilitate the Route 622 bridge over Norfolk and Western Railway in Smyth County continues. Be alert to temporary traffic signals at Route 11 and Route 622 (Haven Ridge Road). Motorists should use caution in the area and pay close attention to signs and message boards. (Completion: May 2024)

Tazewell County
Route 61 (Freedom Avenue) bridge replacement over the North Fork Clinch River: Replacement of the Route 61 bridge over the North Fork Clinch River in Tazewell continues and the bridge is closed to traffic during construction. Use Dial Rock Road and Market Street to detour. (Completion: September 2023)

Route 16 (W. Riverside Drive) bridge replacement over Cavitts Creek: Work is underway to replace the Route 16 bridge over Cavitts Creek in Tazewell. Motorists should be alert to one-lane traffic being controlled by traffic signals. The travel lane width on Route 16 at the bridge is restricted to 9 feet 6 inches. (Completion: June 2024)

Route 91 slide repairs: Cleanup and repairs to a portion of Route 91 in Tazewell County continue and a portion of the road remains closed. Routes 601 and 607 are the detour routes, an approximately 5-mile detour.

Washington County
Route 58 widening near Damascus: Due to Route 58 construction activities near Damascus, a traffic switch remains in place in the work zone diverting traffic from Route 58 onto Drowning Ford Road, into the new Route 58 intersection and back on to “old” Route 58. Temporary traffic signals and a pilot vehicle will be used 24-hours-a-day to maintain traffic and enhance safety. This is expected to last approximately 3-4 weeks until traffic can be switched onto newly constructed Route 58. (Completion: May 2024)

***Route 11/140 intersection improvements in Abingdon: From 6 a.m. Tuesday (August 8) through August 22, there will be no right turns from Route 140 (Jonesboro Road) onto Route 11 eastbound. This will allow crews the opportunity to mill, grade and pave the area for a new right turn lane. Motorists can use exit 13 and 17 to access the Route 11 area west of Route 140. The project will realign the turn lanes and coordinate traffic signals located at the intersection of Route11/Jonesboro Road and at Jonesboro Road/VHCC Drive (Virginia Highlands Community College entrance). Be alert to periodic delays and altered traffic patterns. (Completion: October 2023)

Wise County
Alternate Route 58 bridge rehabilitation: A project to repair the Alternate Route 58 bridge over the Guest River and Norfolk Southern Railroad in the City of Norton is underway. (Completion: Fall 2023)

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. Be alert to flaggers and allow extra travel time. (Completion: December 2023)

***Rockwall Protection Project on U.S. 23: Due to a rockfall protection project on U.S. Route 23 just south of the intersection at Route 610 (Powell Valley Road) in Wise County, one mile of the southbound lane is closed. The project requires traffic to be completely stopped on both south and northbound sides of Route 23 for up to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day for the duration of the project to allow the removal of large rocks. Crews are expected to begin installation of new rock fencing this week. Motorists should expect delays when travelling the area and use caution. Be alert to signs and message boards. (Completion: September 2023)

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. Trucks accessing northbound I-81 at exit 84 should consider taking Route 11 north to exit 86 to access I-81 north. (Completion: December 2023)


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: Aug. 4, 2023