Recently Completed: Interstate 81 Frontage Road Study (Washington County)

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The Interstate 81 Frontage Road Study, finalized in April 2020, evaluated the feasibility of addressing gaps in the current roadway network that could provide a secondary road system, parallel to a segment of the I-81 corridor from exit 7 at Old Airport Road to exit 22 at Route 704 (Enterprise Road) and parallel to U.S. Route 11 in Washington County, Va.

Final Report: Interstate 81 Exit 7 to Exit 22 Frontage Road Corridor Study

Study displays shown at the May 2019 information meeting:

Study Area 1: between exits 7 and 10

Study Area 2: between exits 10 and 13

Study Area 3: between exits 13 and 14

Study Area 4: between exits 14 and 17

Study Area 5: between exits 17 and 19

Study Area 6: between exits 19 and 22


The frontage road system concept would provide an alternate route for local traffic to travel between Bristol and Abingdon. It could potentially reduce local traffic demand on the interstate and provide a more resilient roadway network capable of supporting traffic diverted from I-81 during an incident.

The study will serve as a planning tool for the Washington County Board of Supervisors and the Abingdon Town Council, helping them to make informed decisions when selecting and prioritizing potential projects for SMART SCALE applications. SMART SCALE is a VDOT program where localities apply for funds and their applications are scored statewide based on an objective, outcome-based process.

Major Milestones 

Information meetings were held in February and May 2019 to show preliminary information regarding the study.


Contact Info:

Blake Ailor

Lat/Long: 36.693611, -82.012222

Locality: Washington

Page last modified: June 16, 2020