VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283

Joey Barker 276-696-3333


Sept. 8, 2023

September 11-17: 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 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 on I-81 is 60mph through the work zone. Work is expected to be complete for the northbound on ramp by September 13. (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 spill cleanup southbound between mile markers 75 and 76 in Wythe County.
- Nighttime bridge replacement activities north and southbound between mile markers 83 and 85 in Wythe County.
- Daytime super load move northbound between exits 80 and 205 and southbound from mile marker 85 to the Virginia/Tennessee state line September 11.

Interstate 77
- Daytime bridge repairs/replacement northbound between mile markers 64 and 65 in Bland County September 11-13.
- Daytime paving operations northbound at the Rocky Gap Rest Area in Bland County. Rest area will be closed from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. September 14.


Bland County
***Route 604 (Walkers Creek Road): Be alert to periodic closures on Route 604 (Walkers Creek Road) in Bland County due to a bridge replacement project located 3.6 miles from Route 42 and three miles from Route 608 (Skydusky Road). Motorists are advised to watch for changing conditions, obey construction signs, and follow detours throughout this time-period. (Completion: March 2024)

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.

Dickenson County
Route 83 Roundabout at Food City: Construction of a roundabout at Route 83 and Main Street in Clintwood is underway. Main Street traffic is detoured to Chase Street. Be alert to workers and pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: late 2023)

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)

Route 606 pipe replacement: A pipe replacement project is underway on Route 606 (Grosses Creek Road) in Smyth County. One lane is closed. Be alert to message boards and workers. (Completion: Late September 2023)

Tazewell County
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: 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. Motorists should expect delays when traveling 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)

Route 649 (Atkins Mill Road) bridge: Due to bridge repairs, the Route 649 (Atkins Mill Road) bridge in Wythe County is closed to traffic until 4 p.m. September 20. The bridge is located .05-mile from Route 720 and .77-mile from Route 11. Motorists should plan alternate routes during the closure. (Completion: September 20)

Route 671 (Crigger Road) bridge: Due to an upcoming bridge replacement project, the Route 671 (Crigger Road) bridge in Wythe County has been restricted to one 11-foot-wide lane and a three-ton weight limit. Construction is scheduled to begin April 2024.


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: Sept. 8, 2023