BLAND CO., Va. -

Only one lane will be available to drivers heading north through the I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 7 a.m. Thursday.

Crews will be making electrical repairs and doing ventilation cleaning work.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, a structural assessment of the tunnel will be performed to see if concrete repairs need to be made.

At this point, only routine work needs to be done. Repairs to the tunnel will take several weeks, but the majority of the work can be accomplished at night with minimal impact to drivers, said Regional Operations Manager Ken King, P.E.

Those traveling overnight should experience minimal delays while repairs are taking place. Drivers can check travel conditions by dialing 511 or visiting


Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

The northbound lanes of the East River Mountain Tunnel will be closed from 8 p.m. Tuesday through 8 a.m. Wednesday, and from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.

Northbound traffic will be diverted to the southbound side of the tunnel. Transportation officials say traffic in both directions will alternate and travelers should expect significant delays.

Burning cardboard on the truck sent thick, black smoke throughout the tunnel Friday, forcing it to close in both directions.

Story from the Associated Press


Expect delays this week while crews repair the Interstate 77 East River Mountain Tunnel after a tractor-trailer fire Friday.

Drivers can expect delays starting Monday night through Thursday night while crews clean soot from the tunnel. In the coming weeks there will be daytime lane closures for lighting repairs.

The speed limit through the tunnel will continue to be at 45 miles per hour while repairs are made.

About 36 tons of asphalt was repaired Saturday. Also, 1,600 feet of lighting along tunnel walls was damaged.

Here is more information from the Virginia Department of Transportation about the fire:

About 36 tons of asphalt were repaired during the early morning hours Saturday. Temporary lighting was also added inside the tunnel to ensure safety of the public prior to reopening the right lane around 9 a.m. Saturday.

Approximately 1,600 feet of lighting along the tunnel walls was damaged in fire.

This week, motorists can expect periodic delays Monday through Thursday nights while work is underway to clean a significant accumulation of soot from the tunnel. In the coming weeks, drivers should be alert to nighttime and periodic daytime lane closures while lighting repairs continue.

The speed limit through the tunnel has been restricted to 45 mph and will remain 45 mph until repairs are complete.

Periodic lane closures are being scheduled for the coming weeks as repairs continue following the Friday afternoon tractor-trailer fire inside I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Friday (July 25) authorities responded to a tractor-trailer on fire in the northbound side of the East River Mountain Tunnel on Interstate 77 just inside West Virginia.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and emergency personnel from Virginia and West Virginia worked simultaneously to extinguish the fire and remove traffic from the north and southbound lanes of the tunnel.

Once the fire was extinguished and motorists where safely removed, the effort of rerouting traffic and closing Interstate 81 at Exit 72 so no additional traffic could enter I-77 north began.