Construction is scheduled to start Sunday night, July 17, at Interstate 81 exit 300, the interchange with I-66 in Warren County. The $7.1 million project will extend the acceleration lane from westbound I-66 to southbound I-81, and replace the southbound I-81 bridge over Route 840 (Water Plant Road).
During the first several weeks of construction, southbound I-81 motorists should expect overnight lane closures as contractors strengthen the right shoulder and install concrete barriers to protect the work zone. The barriers will be located along the median and will narrow the left shoulder of southbound I-81. Once barrier installation is complete, the work zone speed limit on southbound I-81 will be 55 miles an hour for the remainder of the project.
The junction of I-81 and I-66 is a congested area, and motorists should use extra caution when traveling through the work zone. Backups on southbound I-81 and westbound I-66 are possible due to high traffic volumes, daytime shoulder closures and overnight lane closures.
Drivers using Route 840 can expect flagger traffic control during daytime or overnight hours, and short-term roadway closures when crews install beams for the new I-81 overpass bridge.
Improvements to I-81 exit 300, funded by Virginia’s SMART SCALE program, are designed to reduce congestion and enhance safety. Additional information is found on the VDOT website at: https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/warren-county-8211-interstate-81-exit-300-southbound-acceleration-ramp-extension-and-bridge-widening-over-route-840-water-plant-road.asp.
On May 17, 2022, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $7,140,300 contract to Triton Construction Inc. of Virginia, located in St. Albans, W.Va. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2024.