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VDOT to host public hearing on I-81 widening project

Interstate 81
Interstate 81(WBDJ7)
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 12:13 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Transportation is hosting a public hearing Tuesday to discuss widening a five-mile stretch of Interstate 81 in Roanoke County.

The $292.5 million project plans to expand the interstate to three lanes between exits 137 and 141. It will also replace a half a dozen bridges, widen two bridges and install about 2.6 miles of sound barrier walls along the highway.

“Now this is a project that is intended to improve safety, reduce congestion and it’s part of a two-billion-dollar package of targeted improvements for Interstate 81,” VDOT Spokesperson Jason Bond said.

The virtual public hearing will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will allow people to comment and ask questions in real time during the WebEx meeting. There is also a comment sheet available on the public hearing website.

For those who cannot attend the virtual meeting, they can email their comments to I81-MM136-141@vdot.virginia.gov and reference the “Interstate 81 Widening Virtual VDOT Design Hearing Public Comments” in the subject line.

Folks can also mail in their comments by addressing a letter to Mr. Craig Moore, PE, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem VA 24153. All comments must be postmarked, emailed or submitted by Feb. 19.

The widening project is a part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in spring 2019.

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