VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


Aug. 27, 2021

August 30 - September 5: Bristol's Weekly Traffic Alert

BRISTOL – In an effort to keep motorists informed, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provides weekly information about highway construction and maintenance projects in southwestern Virginia. When traveling through highway work zones, use caution and be alert to changes in traffic patterns and slow-moving or stopped traffic.

To help motorists take the guesswork out of travel plans, call VDOT’s 511 or visit http://www.511virginia.org for real-time traffic information.

Entries with asterisks (***) indicate the listing is new or the status of the project has changed since last week’s traffic alert.

***Interstate 81 – installation of overhead message boards: Due to the installation of a large digital message board above I-81 at mile marker 74.7 in Wythe County, motorists may experience overnight delays in the Wytheville/Fort Chiswell areas from the evening of Thursday, September 9 through the morning of September 10. To allow time for the message boards to be installed above the interstate, Virginia State Police will assist VDOT with multiple “slow roll” closures overnight for north and southbound traffic. During a slow roll, traffic is slowed to 15 mph to allow a window of time of approximately 20 minutes to perform installation work. Motorists should be alert to signs and message boards communicating lane closures and slow roll activities during the installation. (Completion: September 10, 2021)

Interstate 81 Exit 47 – acceleration lane project in Marion: Be alert to a north and southbound shoulder closure on I-81 near exit 47 in the Marion area of Smyth County due to a project to add an acceleration lane northbound at exit 47.

Interstate 81 Exit 35: A project to widen a portion of Route 107 beneath Interstate 81 at exit 35 at Chilhowie is under way. Be alert to the possibility of ramp work and periodic delays on Route 107. Watch out for highway workers in the project area. (Completion: September 2022)

Interstate 81 deceleration lane extension (Wythe County): Be alert to a right shoulder closure on Interstate 81 southbound near exit 84 in Wythe County due to work to extend the deceleration lane. (Completion: November 2021)

Interstate 77 – Exit 64: Motorists should be alert to work underway to improve Interstate 77 at exit 64 in Bland County. The project includes maintenance repairs to the I-77 bridges over Route 61 and Clear Fork Creek and improvements to the exit 64 northbound and southbound ramps. Be alert to the possibility of daytime and nighttime lane closures. (Completion: Spring 2023)

***Interstate 81 – Exit 17: The exit 17 project includes improvements to the exit 17 northbound on and off ramps, improvements to a segment of Route 75, reconstruction and relocation of Gravel Lake Road, lengthening the I-81 southbound on ramp, and relocation of the frontage road located adjacent to the northbound exit 17 off ramp. The speed limit is 60mph through the work zone. (Completion: Fall 2022)

***Interstate 81 – Exit 19: Be alert to paving on Route 11 this week as part of the I-81 exit 19 project in Abingdon. Paving will be from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly Sunday through Friday morning (August 29- September 3). Additionally, on Monday (August 30) the I-81 southbound on ramp for Route 58 west/Route 11 south (toward Abingdon) will be closed temporarily from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. During the ramp closure, Route 58 west/Route 11 south traffic will detour using I-81 northbound to exit 22 to access southbound I-81. The southbound ramp accessible from Route 58 east/Route 11 north (toward Damascus) will not be impacted Monday night. Until the newly installed traffic signals on Route 11 are operational, be alert to a temporary stop sign where the new connection to Empire Drive intersects with Route 11. The exit 19 project includes realigning a portion of Empire Drive, widening a curve along the southbound off ramp, and adding traffic signals at the intersection of newly aligned Empire Drive and Route 11 and where Route 11 intersects with the end of the exit 19 southbound ramps. (Completion: Summer 2022)

I-77 bridges over Cove Creek: Be alert to a project to replace the Interstate 77 bridges over Cove Creek in Wythe County, located about two miles north of Interstate 81 between mile markers 44 and 42. Motorists can expect an altered traffic pattern on southbound I-77 and periodic nighttime lane closures while work is underway. (Completion: early 2023)

Interstate 81 bridges at Atkins: A project to replace the Interstate 81 bridges near mile marker 52 in the Atkins area of Smyth County is underway. Be alert to traffic shifts through the work zone. The speed limit in the work zone is 60 mph. (Completion: Fall 2022)

***Interstate 81 bridges over Reed Creek: Weather permitting, be alert to nighttime paving north and southbound in the I-81 work zone between mile markers 82 and 84 at the bridges over Reed Creek in Wythe County. The bridges, which are being replaced, are located about one-mile north of the I-77 split at I-81 exit 81. The speed limit through the work zone is 60 mph. Allow extra travel time and watch out for workers. (Completion: Fall 2021)

***Interstates 81 and 77 maintenance activities: This week, be alert to the following lane closures due to maintenance activities:
Interstate 81
- 24-hour lane closure Monday morning through Thursday morning due to bridge deck repairs southbound near exit 35 in Smyth County.
- Nighttime bridge deck repairs north and southbound near mile marker 36 in Smyth County and northbound between mile markers 47 and 51 in Smyth County.
Interstate 77
- Nighttime southbound lane closure at East River Mountain Tunnel Monday through Wednesday and a northbound lane closure at Big Walker Mountain Tunnel Sunday through Thursday due to tunnel maintenance. All wide loads over 12-feet must stop before entering the tunnel during the nighttime lane closures.
- Nighttime paving northbound between mile markers 25 and 29 in Wythe County.

Buchanan County
Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A: Construction of Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A is underway in Buchanan County. Impacts on motorists are minimal because the majority of the work is on a new location; however, the project has created a permanent change for Route 614 (Woods Fork). Poplar Creek Phase A will split a portion of Route 614 and cul-de-sacs will be added on either end of Route 614 where it ends at the new highway, approximately 2.75 miles from Route 609 at Bull Creek and 1.25 miles from Route 604 at Poplar Creek. Access to the north and south ends of Route 614 will be via Routes 609 (Bull Creek Road) and 604 (Poplar Creek Road), respectively, which connect to Route 460 west of Grundy.

Dickenson County
Route 83: Be alert to the possibility of delays along Route 83 in Wise and Dickenson counties from the intersection of Route 631 (Mill Creek) near Pound to the Buchanan County line due to a project to add paved shoulders with rumble strips and improve guardrail along Route 83. Be alert to flaggers and pilot vehicles leading motorists through the work zone. (Completion: early December 2021)

Lee County
Route 58 truck climbing lane at Powell Mountain: A project to add a truck climbing lane to Route 58 at Powell Mountain in Lee County is underway. The project will add a 1,000-foot truck climbing lane to the west side of Powell Mountain, improving safety by providing motorists a safer way to pass trucks along the steep grade. Be alert to periodic delays and watch for workers. (Completion: September 2021)

Route 58 bridge over the Powell River: A new traffic pattern is in place across the Route 58 bridge over the Powell River near Jonesville in Lee County, with traffic now traveling on the newly constructed side of the bridge. Signals are controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. Use caution in this area and allow for slight travel delays. (Completion: fall 2021)

Tazewell County
Tazewell Avenue Bridge Repairs (Bluefield): The Tazewell Avenue bridge in Bluefield closed to traffic in late April and will remain closed approximately 6 months due to repairs. The bridge is located over Beaver Pond Creek between Walnut Street and S. College Avenue (Route 102). During repairs, motorists will use Walnut Street, Virginia Avenue, and S. College Avenue to detour (distance: .2-mile). (Completion: fall 2021)

Washington County
***Route 11/19 intersection improvements in Abingdon: A project to improve traffic flow at the intersection of Route 11/19 in Abingdon begins August 30. The project will add a second right turn lane from Route 19 onto southbound Route 11 as well as traffic signal changes to accommodate the second right turn lane. Be alert to the possibility of delays when work begins. (Completion: Spring 2022)

Wise County
Route 623 (Bearpen Hollow Road): Due to slide repairs, a portion of Route 623 (Bearpen Hollow Road) in Wise County is closed until late August. Pay close attention to signs directing traffic around the work zone. (Completion: late August 2021)

Shawnee Avenue bridge replacement: Due to the replacement of the Shawnee Avenue bridge in Big Stone Gap, the bridge is closed. Use caution in this area and pay close attention to detour signs. (Completion: late 2021)

Route 83: Be alert to the possibility of delays along Route 83 in Wise and Dickenson counties from the intersection of Route 631 (Mill Creek) near Pound to the Buchanan County line due to a project to add paved shoulders with rumble strips and improve guardrail along Route 83. Be alert to flaggers and pilot vehicles leading motorists through the work zone. (Completion: early December 2021)

Wythe County
Route 664 (Glade Road) bridge: Due to replacement of the Route 664 (Glade Road) bridge over Reed Creek in Wythe County, the bridge is closed to traffic and will remain closed through spring 2022. Route 664 will be closed from .99-mile east of Route 711 to 1.06-mile east of Route 711. Be alert to detour signs that will be in place before the project begins. (Completion: Spring 2022)

Route 739 (Razor Ridge Road): The pipe replacement project on Route 739 (Razor Ridge Road) in Grayson County is complete.

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: Aug. 27, 2021