WDBJ7 Web Staff
9:49 AM EDT, May 10, 2012
The Virginia Department of Transportation will suspend blasting on Interstate 81 on Thursday and Friday because of the graduation ceremony at Virginia Tech, but there could be other traffic delays because of First LadyMichelle Obama's appearance at the school's graduation.
Virginia Tech's graduation is at noon Friday. First Lady Michelle Obama is giving the school's commencement speech. Because of security measures surrounding her appearance, Virginia State Police say you should be prepared for traffic delays and congestion.
There may also be intermittent ramp and lane closures around the New River Valley on Friday, police say.
Blasting is still scheduled as normal every other weekday starting at 10:30 a.m.
Crews are making a truck climbing lane on I-81 South between mile markers 120 and 125. The project is slated to be done in November of 2013.
Here is the news release from VDOT:
To lessen traffic congestion associated with the graduation ceremonies at Radford University and Virginia Tech, there will be no blasting and traffic detours on the Interstate 81 truck climbing lane project in Montgomery County on Friday, May 4, Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11.
Weather permitting, blasting days are still scheduled for Thursday, May 3, Monday, May 7, Tuesday, May 8 and Wednesday, May 9. For the week starting Monday, May 14, regularly scheduled weekday blasting will resume.
As part of the project to build a truck climbing lane on southbound I-81 between mile markers 120 and 125, blasting normally is scheduled on weekdays, Monday through Friday, at approximately 10:30 a.m. No blasting is scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays. Blasting may cause the following traffic impacts:
· Detonation of charges will be scheduled daily, Monday through Friday, between 11 a.m. and noon.
· Southbound I-81 traffic will be detoured off I-81 at exit 132 (Dixie Caverns) onto Route 11/460 and back onto I-81 at exit 118 (Christiansburg). The detour will be implemented daily sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be removed immediately once slopes have been scaled and the road is deemed safe for the traveling public. State Police will assist with this detour. A right lane closure will be in place on westbound Route 11/460 during the detour. On some days, rolling road blocks may be used on southbound I-81 instead of a detour.
· On northbound I-81, a rolling road block starting at mile marker 114 sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. will be used to slow traffic. During blasting, the on-ramps will be restricted onto northbound Interstate 81 at exit 118 (Christiansburg) and onto southbound I-81 at exit 128 (Ironto).
· Flaggers may control traffic on Route 636 (Seneca Hollow Road and Friendship Road) and on Route 641 (Den Hill Road) during blasting.
Work on the truck climbing lane project is expected to be completed in November 2013.
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