In Design: Rockingham County – Route 720 (Smithland Road) Bridge over Interstate 81

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This project is located on Route 720 (Smithland Road) in Rockingham County. The bridge over Interstate 81 will be replaced with a new structure. The current bridge was built in 1960 and has reached the end of its service life.

The proposed bridge will be constructed in the existing bridge location but will be approximately three feet higher. The bridge will have two through lanes and five-foot shoulders. The intersection of Smithland Road and Buffalo Drive will be improved to connect with the increased elevation of Smithland Road.

There will be a detour in place when Smithland Road is closed to construct the new bridge and approaches. Buffalo Drive will be closed at the Smithland Road intersection to through traffic for some portion of the construction. It is estimated that the detour will be in place up to one year. During bridge construction, I-81 closures will be necessary to set beams. Any closures on I-81 would be conducted at night to minimize the impact to traffic.

In 2011 Route 720 had an average daily traffic count of 4,100 vehicles per day.  By the design year of 2039 the estimated average daily traffic volume is 6,610 vehicles per day.

Approval of project plans is scheduled for mid-2020 with advertisement for construction in fall 2021.


This project enhances safety on Route 720 by replacing a deteriorating bridge structure with a new bridge that is able to support modern traffic both in volume and vehicle weights. The height of the new bridge increases vehicle clearance for I-81 traffic.


Contact Info:

Ronald Tabor

UPC: 97112

State ID: 0720-082-751,P101, R201, C501, B684

Federal ID: BR-5115(151), BR-5115(153), BR-5115(153)

Lat/Long: 38.452778, -78.834722

Locality: Rockingham

Page last modified: April 3, 2020