Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Cellular: (540) 292-2500
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Cellular: (540) 414-5670

March 19, 2009


STAUNTON – Lane closures will begin next week as part of a project to redesign traffic flow at the Interstate 81 exit 247 at Route 33 in Harrisonburg. On Route 33 one lane in each direction will be closed on March 25 and March 26 from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. each evening. Beginning on March 30 the lane closures will continue Mondays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. each evening. The lane closure work will last approximately three weeks.  All work is weather permitting.

The project improvements include removing the cloverleaf northwestern loop, which is the on-ramp for traffic entering I-81 from Route 33 westbound lanes. In its place a 350-foot left-turn lane will be constructed on Route 33 near the existing southwestern ramp. At this location a new crossover and traffic signal will be installed, which will allow Route 33 westbound traffic to turn left to access southbound I-81 using a new short connector to the current southwest ramp. Eastbound Route 33 traffic entering the southwestern ramp will yield to vehicles entering the ramp using the new connector.

Additionally, the deceleration lane for traffic leaving southbound I-81 for Route 33 west will be extended 200 feet with an additional 180-foot taper. This will provide motorists using this I-81 off ramp more time to reduce their speed and enhance safety.

The project will improve the traffic pattern at the I-81 and Route 33 interchange at exit 247 in Harrisonburg. The interchange was constructed in the late 1950s in a cloverleaf configuration. Currently the I-81 southbound side of the interchange is experiencing twice the number of accidents as the northbound side. With this interchange configuration, the right I-81 southbound lane services traffic both exiting and entering Route 33, creating a weaving traffic pattern. This conflict point in the right I-81 southbound lane is the location of many traffic accidents.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. In areas where 511 is unavailable, dial 1-866-MY511VA (866-695-1182) (TTY/TDD users, call 711). Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at

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Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012