Under Construction: Harrisonburg City – Interstate 81 Exit 247 Ramps and Route 33 Bridges over I-81 and Norfolk Southern Railroad

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This project replaces four bridges on Route 33 (East Market Street) and improves the operations of Intestate 81 Exit 247.  The project includes a new shared use path in the median of Route 33 beginning at the Burgess Road and Linda Lane intersection, extending across the new bridges to Martin Luther King Way.

The four bridges were built in 1960 and have reached the end of their service life.  A single new bridge will replace the Route 33 eastbound and westbound bridges over I-81.  A single new bridge will replace the Route 33 eastbound and westbound bridges over Norfolk Southern Railroad and Blacks Run. Reconstruction of Route 33 will be done at the new bridges’ approaches. All the new bridges will have two lanes in each direction with reconstructed approaches.

The northbound side of the interchange will receive improvements in both the southeastern and northeastern quadrants, which will eliminate the weave movements occurring on I-81 at the deceleration and acceleration ramps. 

In the southeastern quadrant the loop ramp will be removed, which currently serves traffic from Route 33 eastbound to northbound I-81. In the area of the removed ramp, the northbound I-81 deceleration lane to the westbound Route 33 ramp will be extended.

In the northeast quadrant Route 33 eastbound traffic will enter northbound I-81 from a new ramp constructed to connect with the existing northbound I-81 acceleration ramp. A new left-turn lane with a new traffic signal will be built for eastbound Route 33 traffic to enter the northbound acceleration ramp.

Additional construction on the southeast quadrant includes a spur ramp from the northbound I-81 deceleration ramp to eastbound Route 33.  This spur ramp will serve traffic making the left turn onto Linda Lane.  The dual left-turn lanes along eastbound Route 33 at Linda Lane will be extended to accommodate the new spur ramp.  A narrow raised median between the left-turn lane and westbound Route 33 will be constructed.

The southbound side of the interchange will receive improvements in both the southwestern and northwestern quadrants, which will provide additional space.

In the southwest quadrant, the westbound Route 33 left-turn lane onto the southbound I-81 acceleration ramp will be reconstructed and extended.

In the northwest quadrant, the southbound I-81 deceleration ramp onto westbound Route 33 will be realigned in order to provide a longer merge area onto Route 33.

In all four quadrants, as needed, there will be reconstruction of merge lanes and tie-ins from acceleration and deceleration ramps around the bridges.

In 2018 Route 33 had an average daily traffic count of 31,000 vehicles per day.  By the design year of 2045 the estimated average daily traffic volume is 40,000 vehicles per day.  

Approval of project plans is scheduled for spring 2020 with right of way activities beginning in early 2021.  Advertisement for construction is currently scheduled for fall 2021.

The total estimated cost for this project is $59,921,508, including $4,009,501 for preliminary engineering, $995,758 for right of way and $54,916,249 for construction.

During construction two lanes in each direction on Route 33 will be maintained. It is anticipated that much of the construction will be done at night to lessen traffic impacts. Occasional temporary single lane closures may be necessary to move materials or construction equipment. Pedestrian traffic through the work zone will be prohibited throughout the life of the project.


The completed project will increase safety in the area by replacing four aging bridges and maximizing traffic operations and traffic flow on Route 33 and Interstate 81 at exit 247. The project provides greater pedestrian access with the inclusion of a shared use path in the median.

Major Milestones 

Project plan approval  Spring 2020

Right of Way  Early 2021

Construction advertisement  Spring 2022


Contact Info:

Josh Hall, P.E.

Project Overview

Project Photos

Other relevant links:

Project Numbers

State Project: 0033-082-805,P101, R201, C501, B624; Federal Project: BR-5115(196);  UPC:  104177

State Project: 0033-082-765,P101, B623; Federal Project: NHPP-5115(205);  UPC:  100781

State Project: 0033-082-884,R201, C501, B626; Federal Project: None; UPC:  113487

State Project: 0081-115-261,P101, N501; Federal Project: NHPP-0813(188); UPC:  111230 Smart Scale http://dashboard.vasmartscale.org/project-details?id=111230

State Project: 0033-115-269, P101, C501; Federal Project: None; UPC:  115718 Smart Scale http://dashboard.vasmartscale.org/project-details?id=115718

UPC: 111230

State ID: 0081-115-261,P101, N501

Lat/Long: 38.437589, -78.850902

Locality: Harrisonburg

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list of Photos
Route 33 Westbound Bridge Work Over Railway - August 2023
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Route 33 Eastbound Bridge Work - July 2023
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Display Board - Project Plans
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Display Board - Typical Section
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Route 33 at I-81 Exit 247 - MLK Way Intersection
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Route 33 at I-81 Exit 247 - Linda Lane/Burgess Road Intersection and I-81 Northbound Ramp Spur
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Page last modified: Aug. 30, 2023