VDOT News - Salem



Jason Bond 540-387-5493

SAL 55

Jan. 25, 2021


SALEM, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) invites the public to attend a virtual design public hearing for a project to widen 5.1 miles of Interstate 81 between exits 137 and 141 in Roanoke County and Salem. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. as a virtual event.

To access the hearing information and WebEx, visit the project page at http://www.virginiadot.org/I81exit137to141 and click on the link for the virtual design public hearing.

VDOT representatives will make a presentation beginning at 5 p.m. and answer questions through the WebEx Chat function after the presentation is completed. A recorded version of the presentation will be available on the project page after the hearing.

The $292.5 million project will provide additional capacity and improve safety by widening 5.1 miles of I-81 from two lanes in both directions to three lanes in both directions. The section of I-81 extends between mile markers 136.6 and 141.8 in Roanoke County and the city of Salem. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in late 2021.

The new lanes will be built at locations along I-81’s right and left shoulders. The project also includes replacing six bridges, widening two bridges and installing approximately 2.6 miles of sound barrier walls along northbound I-81.

Comments can be submitted using one of these methods:

  • Completing the comment sheet at the bottom of the virtual design public hearing webpage

  • Emailing them to I81-MM136-141@vdot.virginia.gov. Please reference “Interstate 81 Widening Virtual VDOT Design Hearing Public Comments” in the subject line.

  • Mailing them to Mr. Craig Moore, PE, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem VA 24153.

All comments must be postmarked, emailed or submitted by February 19, 2021. Anyone requiring special assistance to provide input or ask additional questions may contact VDOT’s Salem District Office at 540-387-5353, 800-367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711.

The widening project is a part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in spring 2019. 

Additional information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is available at Improve81.org. The website includes interactive maps and schedules and details about upcoming and current projects that are designed to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor.

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: Jan. 25, 2021