Virginia's Smart Road

What is the Smart Road?

Located in Montgomery County, the Smart Road is a unique, state-of-the-art, full-scale, closed test-bed research facility owned and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and managed by Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute (VTTI). 

Transportation scientists and product developers have spent more than 20,000 hours conducting research on this high-tech highway since its opening in March 2000.


The Smart Road was originally studied and conceived as a 5.7-mile future road project to provide a more direct connection between Interstate 81 and Blacksburg, but the idea emerged in the late 1990s to construct a portion of the road to serve as a real-life laboratory for public and private research.  

The Smart Road was a joint project of VDOT, VTTI and Federal Highway Administration.

Two construction projects have been completed to build the road’s 2.2-mile test bed:  the initial 1.7-mile, two-lane test bed that opened in March 2000 and a second project completed in May 2001 to build one of Virginia’s tallest bridges and provide an additional 200 yards of roadway.


Right of way for the entire 5.7 miles of four-lane roadway has been acquired, but no funding has been identified or schedule determined to build the remaining 3.7 miles to connect the road to the I-81.

For more information about the Smart Road, visit VTTI’s web page at



Page last modified: March 27, 2023