Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715


June 18, 2014

Route 58 and Coalfields Expressway projects advance

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved funding for transportation projects that will improve travel and economic opportunities in southwestern Virginia.  The projects are part of the Six-Year Improvement Program, which allocates $13.1 billion to transportation improvements statewide over the next six years beginning July 1.

“The program reflects input from the community, including a regional public meeting held over the spring and written comments received in the last few months,” said McAuliffe.  “The public played an important role in helping the CTB to shape the transportation program, making the best use of limited resources on projects that will improve safety, move traffic more efficiently and stimulate economic growth.” 

Project highlights in the Bristol District include:

I-81 at Exit 14 ramp modifications  - The $44.3 million I-81 exit 14 bridge replacement and ramp modification project is scheduled to begin summer 2015, accommodating increased traffic and future growth at one of the region’s busiest interchanges.  Improvements include replacing both interstate bridges and separating the northbound on and off ramp, enhancing safety at the interchange that currently uses one ramp for traffic exiting and entering northbound I-81. 

Jonesboro Road, located underneath Interstate 81 at exit 14, will also be reconstructed to provide two through lanes in each direction with a raised median and dual left turn lanes for the I-81 northbound entrance ramp. 

Corridor Q Poplar Creek – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently signed an $11.8 million preliminary engineering contract for the 4.5-mile Corridor Q/Route 121 Poplar Creek segment.  When finished, this segment completes the widening of Route 460 from the Kentucky state line to Christiansburg, Va.  Preliminary engineering, right of way and construction for Poplar Creek is currently valued at $248 million.   The Poplar Creek segment includes three bridges, including a proposed 350-foot bridge over Poplar Creek.  

A design public hearing for the Poplar Creek segment is tentatively scheduled for spring 2015. 


CFX Crane’s Nest design – The Crane’s Nest segment of Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway) is a proposed 15.6-mile segment that begins near Route 83 and Route 721 in Dickenson County and extends to Route 80 in Dickenson County.  Environmental evaluations for this segment are currently under way by VDOT in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration.  Negotiations for a preliminary engineering contract are also under way and $10 million has been allocated in the six-year program for this activity.


Adjusted funding on Doe and Poplar Creek to be more in line with anticipated expenditures – Funding for the Route 121 Doe Branch segment and the Corridor Q/Route 121 Poplar Creek segment was recently adjusted to ensure state and federal funds are more strategically aligned with the schedule of work.  Environmental evaluations for this segment are currently under way by VDOT in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration.


Planning for Rt. 58 Corridor Development Program projects – Funding to begin preliminary engineering work on the Powell Mountain Truck Climbing Lane has been added to the Six Year Improvement Plan.  This mountain crossing west of Duffield currently hinders truck traffic travelling along Route 58. 


Transit improvements – I-81 north/south Crescent Corridor improvements

The six-year program also allocates funding to rehabilitate a total of 210 miles of primary routes and 90 miles of interstate pavement in the Bristol District.

The program will be updated later this year to comply with the new prioritization process, which was signed into law under House Bill 2 by McAuliffe earlier this year.  Under the process, projects will be objectively selected based on regional needs.

The CTB will work in collaboration with localities to set weights for key factors like congestion mitigation, economic development, accessibility, safety and environmental quality. Specific projects will then be screened and selected for funding beginning in July 2016.

Online resources:

CTB presentation of Final Six-Year Improvement Program 


SYIP database




Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: June 18, 2014