Drivers should expect delays and consider alternate routes
Lane closures on southbound Interstate 81 at two locations are expected to create significant delays for drivers during the week starting Dec. 5. The work is weather dependent. Motorists should pay attention to message boards, expect delays and consider alternate routes.
Tentatively scheduled to start on Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m., a right lane closure will be in place on southbound I-81 at mile marker 138.4 in Roanoke County near Salem for major repairs to the bridge over Route 635 (Goodwin Avenue). The lane will remain closed around the clock and is expected to reopen prior to the morning commute on Thursday, Dec. 8. Drivers between Roanoke and Christiansburg will be significantly impacted during this closure.
This bridge is located within the work zone for the I-81 widening project between exits 137 and 141 and was damaged when hit by a tractor-trailer. The repairs involve removing a section of damaged concrete, replacing reinforcing steel and pouring new concrete.
The second location on southbound I-81 where drivers can expect delays is in Botetourt County, north of Roanoke, at mile maker 158, due to paving the ramps and the shoulder at the Troutville Rest Area. A 24-hour right lane closure is tentatively scheduled on Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 6 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and a 12-hour right lane closure is expected to be in place on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The rest area has been closed since May for a project to extend the ramps. The contractor is working to complete the remaining paving ahead of winter, so that the rest area can reopen before spring. If weather permits, the rest area should reopen by late December.
Drivers between Roanoke and Christiansburg can consider using Route 11/460 as an alternate route during the lane closure.
Travelers on southbound I-81, north of Lexington, who are headed to destinations south of Roanoke can consider rerouting to use Interstate 64 west to Interstate 77 south.
To get and updates on these lane closures, visit www.511Virginia.org.