VDOT News - Staunton



Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
540-292-2500 (cell)

Ken Slack 540-332-9264
540-414-5670 (cell)


Dec. 27, 2022


STAUNTON – Brief “slow roll” closures of Interstate 81 northbound are scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday nights, January 3-5, near the city of Harrisonburg. The closures will be between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., and each one is scheduled for 15 minutes or less. They allow contractors to remove the concrete deck on the Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) bridge over I-81 near mile marker 248.8.

On each night of slow-roll closures, Virginia State Police will hold I-81 northbound traffic at exit 240 (Mount Crawford/Bridgewater). The northbound entrance ramps at exits 243, 245 and 247 in the Harrisonburg area will also briefly close during these times. I-81 northbound lanes and on-ramps will reopen as soon as it is safe for traffic to drive under the Route 720 bridge.

On the nights with slow-roll closures, the cloverleaf on-ramp from eastbound Route 33 (East Market Street) onto I-81 northbound will be closed. Eastbound Route 33 drivers who need to access I-81 northbound will follow a short detour route.

Additional closures of I-81 northbound and southbound will take place in 2023 during certain phases of bridge demolition and construction. The Virginia Department of Transportation will advise motorists when these closures are scheduled. VDOT contractors are removing the old Route 720 bridge and constructing a replacement. The project is expected to finish in fall 2023.

Route 720 is closed between Route 718 (Old Furnace Road) and F-238 (Buffalo Drive). Traffic is using a 3.5-mile detour.

On the east side of I-81, traffic will be detoured along Smithland Road turning right onto Linda Lane, right onto Country Club Road, right onto Vine Street, and then right onto Old Furnace Road to the end of the detour.

On the west side of I-81, traffic will be detoured along Smithland Road turning right onto Old Furnace Road, left onto Vine Street, left onto Country Club Road, left onto Linda Lane, and then left onto Smithland Road to the end of the detour.

Buffalo Drive will temporarily close during some phases of construction. Buffalo Drive will be signed, "Road Closed to Through Traffic" at the Route 724 (Trinity Church Road) intersection.

Drivers on I-81 northbound and southbound should be alert for overnight left-lane closures as needed between mile markers 248 and 250. These lane closures allow VDOT contractors to construct a center pier for the new Route 720 overpass bridge.

The new bridge will have two through lanes and five-foot shoulders. It will be constructed in the existing bridge location but will be about three feet higher. The intersection of Route 720 and Buffalo Drive will be improved to connect with the increased elevation.

A video shows project details and traffic restrictions during construction. The video can be viewed on VDOT’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnCBejKSpUE.

Additional information about the Route 720 Project Page is found at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/rockingham_county_8211_route_720_smithland_road_bridge_over_interstate_81.asp.

A contract valued at $4.9 million was awarded to Triton Construction Inc. of Virginia in April 2022. All work is weather permitting.

Virginia traffic alerts and traveler information are available by dialing 511 or visiting http://www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at http://www.VirginiaDOT.org

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.


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. 20, 2023