VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283

Joey Barker 276-696-3333


March 17, 2023

Bristol's Weekly Traffic Alert for March 20-26

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

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 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: late April 2023)

***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: Be alert to the following lane closures due to interstate maintenance activities:

Interstate 81
- Day and nighttime bridge repairs northbound near exit 35 in the Chilhowie area of Smyth County March 20 – March 24. Be alert to a 14-foot width restriction during repairs.
- Daytime bridge deck repairs northbound at mile markers 47 and 50 in Smyth County.
- Daytime and nighttime bridge deck repairs near mile marker 72 northbound in Wythe County March 20 – March 24. Be alert to a 14-foot width restriction in the right lane during the repairs.
- Daytime bridge inspection north and southbound from mile marker 5 to mile marker 7 in Bristol March 20.
- Daytime super load traveling through area northbound from mile marker 81 in Wythe County to mile marker 221 March 20 – 22.
- Daytime paving operations north and southbound in Wythe County.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs northbound at mile marker 3 in Bristol March 23 – 24.
- Daytime bridge deck repairs southbound at mile markers 45 and 50 in Smyth County March 21 – 23.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs southbound at mile markers 9 and 17 in Washington County March 20 - 23.
- Nighttime pothole patching in Washington County.

Interstate 77
- Nighttime tunnel maintenance north and southbound East River Mountain Tunnel March 20 – March 24. All wide loads over 12 feet must stop before entering tunnel.
- Day and nighttime bridge joint repairs southbound from mile marker 64 to mile marker 61 in Bland County March 20 – March 23.
- Day and nighttime bridge work southbound from mile marker 43 to mile marker 42 in Wythe County March 26-31. Lane will be reduced to 12 feet during closure.
- Daytime paving operations northbound and southbound in Wythe County between mile marker 24 and 32 March 20 and March 21.
- Daytime super load traveling through area southbound from mile marker 32 to mile marker 14 in Wythe County March 22 – 24.
- Nighttime equipment repairs northbound from mile marker 49 to mile marker 52 in Bland County.
- Day and nighttime equipment repairs southbound from mile marker 54 to mile marker 51 in Bland County.


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.

Scott County
Route 23 bridge over Speers Ferry: Work to rehabilitate the Route 23 Bridge over Speers Ferry in Scott County is underway. Lane restrictions were recently removed, however, be alert to periodic, daytime lane closures due to work beneath the bridge. Motorists are advised to use caution in this area. (Completion: July 2023)

Smyth County
Route 622 bridge rehab: A project to rehabilitation the Route 622 Bridge over N&W Railway in Smyth County is starting soon. 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: Beginning March 13, replacement of the Route 61 Bridge over the North Fork Clinch River in Tazewell begins. Motorists should be alert to the bridge being closed to traffic during construction. Traffic will be detoured onto Dial Rock Road and Market Street while the replacement project is underway. (Completion: September 2023)

***Route 16 (W. Riverside Drive) – bridge replacement over Cavitts Creek: Beginning on March 27, replacement of the Route 16 bridge over Cavitts Creek in Tazewell begins. Motorists should be alert to one-lane traffic being controlled by traffic signals. The travel lane width on Route 16 at the bridge will be restricted to 9 feet 6 inches. (Completion: June 2024)

Route 91 slide repairs: A portion of Route 91 in Tazewell County remains closed and traffic is using Routes 601 and 607 to detour. The detour is approximately five miles. Once an assessment is performed, crews will begin cleanup and repairs.

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: Winter 2023)

Washington County
***Route 58 widening near Damascus: Due to Route 58 construction activities near Damascus, be alert to periodic delays. 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. Be alert to slight delays due to lane closure on Monday, March 20, near Columbus Mckinnon to assist clearing and grubbing activities in that area. (Completion: May 2024)

Wise County
Alternate Route 58 bridge rehabilitation: A project to rehabilitate the Alternate Route 58 Bridge over the Guest River and Norfolk Southern Railroad in the City of Norton is paused until spring. (Completion: July 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. Pay close attention to flaggers and allow extra travel time. (Completion: December 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: July 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. (Completion: Dec. 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: June 2, 2023