VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283

Joey Barker 276-696-3333


May 19, 2023

May 22-28: 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 is underway 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
- Day and nighttime bridge repairs southbound from mile marker 36 to mile marker 38 in Smyth County May 21 – 25. Be alert to a 14-foot width restriction.
- Nighttime pavement marking southbound from mile marker 87 in Wythe County to the Virginia/Tennessee state line in Bristol.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs northbound near exit 54 in Smyth County.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs northbound between mile marker 60 and mile marker 68 in Wythe County.
- Nighttime pothole patching north and southbound from mile marker 54 in Smyth County to the Virginia/Tennessee state line in Bristol.
- Nighttime roadway sweeping north and southbound from mile marker 73 to mile marker 86 in Wythe County.
- Day and nighttime bridge painting southbound from exit 70 to mile marker 66 in Wythe County May 21–26. Be alert to 14-foot lane restriction.
- Daytime super load move northbound between Bristol and Wythe counties May 22–24.

Interstate 77
- Nighttime tunnel maintenance northbound at Big Walker Tunnel in Bland County. Wide loads over 12 feet must stop before entering the tunnels when lane closure is in place.
- Day and nighttime bridge work southbound from mile marker 64 to mile marker 61 in Bland County May 21-26. Be alert to a 14-foot width restriction during closure.
- Daytime super load move northbound from mile marker 40 to mile marker 67 in Wythe and Bland counties May 22-23.


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.

Grayson County
Route 662 bridge replacement: The bridge on Route 662 (Falls Road) over Elk Creek in the Comers Rock Community of Grayson County is closed through May 24 at 5 p.m. This closure will allow for needed repairs. Motorist are advised to use alternate routes and use caution in the area.

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 begins May 22. Be alert to one-lane traffic in each direction and periodic traffic shifts. (Completion: fall 2024)

Russell County
Route 687 bridge replacement: The bridge on Route 687 over Route 63 in the Dante area of Russell County is being replaced. Traffic will be controlled by flaggers as needed. Temporary signals are in place on Route 63 to control one-way traffic. (Completion: October 2024)

Scott County
***Route 617 bridge replacement: A bridge located on Route 617 (Shellys Road) over South Fork Ketron Branch in Scott County is closed for replacement. The bridge will remain closed through May 25.

Smyth County
Route 622 bridge rehab: A project to rehabilitate the Route 622 bridge over Norfolk and Western Railway in Smyth County is underway. Be alert to temporary traffic signals at Route 11 and Route 622. 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 is underway 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 will be 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, 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. (Completion: May 2024)

Route 1712 (Old Dominion Road): Be alert to delays due to slurry paving on a portion of Route 1712 (Old Dominion Road) in Washington County, between Route 11 and Flame Leaf Drive. Pay close attention to signs and flaggers.

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)

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)
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 will be closed for approximately two months for repairs. The project will require 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. Motorists should expect delays when travelling the area and use caution. Be alert to signs and message boards. (Completion: Late July/Early August 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: December 2023)

Interstate 77 – Exit 64: Project is complete on Interstate 77 at exit 64 in Bland County. The project included maintenance repairs to the I-77 bridges over Route 61 and Clear Fork Creek and improvements to the exit 64 northbound and southbound ramps.

Route 617 bridge replacement: A bridge on Route 617 (Shellys Road) over South Fork Ketron Branch in Scott County located .10-mile from Route 58 has been replaced.

Business Route 23 in Wise: Paving operations are complete on a portion of Business Route 23 between Awan Street and Cherry Street.


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 19, 2023