VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


Feb. 26, 2021

March 1 - 7: 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 – Exit 17: Motorists should be alert to workers in the Interstate 81 exit 17 area work zone, staging equipment and installing work zone signage as part of a project to improve the interchange. The 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. (Completion: Fall 2022)

Interstate 81 – Exit 19:
Be alert to the following activities on the I-81 exit 19 safety improvement project in Abingdon: nighttime work on Route 11 and utility work in the work zone during day and nighttime hours. The 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 shoulder closures through the work zone and the possibility of lane closures on Route 11 beneath the bridges. The speed limit in the work zone is 60 mph. (Completion: Fall 2022)


Interstate 81 – bridges over Reed Creek: Due to replacement of the Interstate 81 bridges over Reed Creek in Wythe County, be alert to altered traffic patterns, narrowed lanes, and daytime lane closures in the work zone. The bridges 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

  • Daytime/nighttime bridge deck repairs on I-81 north and southbound near exit 72 in the Wytheville area.
  • Daytime lane closure southbound between mile markers 68 and 67 in Wytheville due to bridge deck repairs.
  • Daytime/nighttime right lane closures southbound near exit 35 at bridge over Middle Fork Holston River in Smyth County.

Interstate 77

  • Daytime lane closures Mondays – Thursdays due to bridge deck repairs southbound between mile markers 42 and 40 in Wythe County



Bland County

***Route 602 (Spur Branch Road): Due to repairs to the Route 602 (Spur Branch Road) bridge in Bland County, located near the intersection of Route 601 (Little Creek Highway), the bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. – noon daily beginning March 1 and lasting until repairs are complete. (Completion: mid-March 2021)

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. 



Grayson County

Route 21: Periodic flagging will take place weekdays on Route 21 in Grayson County near the intersection of Black Rock Mountain Lane due to a culvert installation project. (late March 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)

Scott County

Route 23 access improvements/Park and Ride: Be alert to a long-term lane closure on southbound Route 23 in the Moccasin Gap area of Scott County due to an access management project. The project also includes adding a Park and Ride lot near the intersection of Route 23 and Route 619 (Filter Plant Road). Pay close attention to work zone signs and watch for workers. Allow extra travel time, especially during morning and afternoon hours when commuter traffic volumes are high. (Completion: Fall 2021)

Utility Installation: Be alert to utility installation work along Route 870 (Daniel Boone Road) and connecting secondary highways near Gate City.  The project is near the quarry pond and will extend westward to Route 789 (Sarah Circle). (Completion: February 2021)


Tazewell County
***Allegheny Street bridge improvements in Richlands: A project to repair and replace the Allegheny Street bridge in Richlands begins March 8. The bridge is located over Big Creek between 3rd and 4th Street. During the project the bridge will be closed approximately five months and motorists will detour using Route 67 and 5th Street to detour, a distance of approximately .75-mile.

Fincastle Farms Road over Bluestone River:
The Fincastle Farms Road bridge in Bluefield is closed to traffic and will remain closed for replacement until May 2021. Traffic is detouring using Blue Ridge Road off Hockman Pike (Route 720). (Completion: May 2021)

Route 605 (Thompson Valley):
The Route 605 road improvement project in the Thompson Valley area of Tazewell County will resume in the spring. (Completion June 2021)


Pisgah Road over Fairground Creek in Tazewell: The Pisgah Road bridge closed to traffic October 9 and will remain closed until March 2021 for replacement.  Traffic will detour onto US Route 19/460 while the replacement bridge project is underway.  (Completion: March 2021)


Route 19 (Virginia Avenue) bridge over Wrights Valley Creek (Bluefield): Be alert to an altered traffic pattern on Route 19 at the bridge over Wrights Valley Creek near Bluefield due to reconstruction of the bridge. Use caution in the area and pay close attention to work zone signs. (Completion: July 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)     (END)

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: Feb. 26, 2021