VDOT News - Staunton



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

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


Sept. 7, 2022


STAUNTON – The Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) bridge over Interstate 81 in Rockingham County near Harrisonburg is scheduled to close Monday, September 12. The Virginia Department of Transportation will demolish the 62-year-old bridge and construct a replacement. The project is expected to continue through fall 2023.

During construction Route 720 will be closed between Route 718 (Old Furnace Road) and F238 (Buffalo Drive). Traffic will use a detour approximately 3.5-miles long.

  • 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.

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 establish a work zone in the median and construct a pier for the new overpass bridge.

During certain phases of the project, temporary overnight closures of I-81 will be necessary for demolition of the existing bridge and placement of steel beams for the new structure. VDOT will provide details and detour information when these closures are scheduled.

Buffalo Drive will be closed for shorter periods of time during some phases of construction. Buffalo Drive will be signed, "Road Closed to Through Traffic" at the Route 724 (Trinity Church Road) intersection.

The new Route 720 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 is available showing the Route 720 bridge replacement 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 can also be found on the Route 720 Project Page 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. Follow VDOT 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: Sept. 7, 2022