VDOT seeking public feedback on project to widen I-81 lanes in Roanoke and Botetourt County

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is looking for the public’s feedback and input on a proposed widening of Interstate 81 between Roanoke County and Botetourt County. Dozens of community members shared their thoughts at a meeting Tuesday night with VDOT representatives.

VDOT is looking to expand the highway to three lanes going each direction from mile marker 143 to mile marker 150. It’s a $479 million project that’s a part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan.

The project is expected to take years, as VDOT is just entering the initial design phases now. Construction won’t begin until after 2025.

A VDOT spokesperson explained when construction does begin, it would have similar traffic impacts to the widening project currently happening in Roanoke County and Salem.

”It’ll be similar traffic control to what drivers are seeing right now on the widening project between mile marker 137 and 141 where a lot of the work will be done behind barricade walls,” Jason Bond said.

VDOT reports the new lanes will improve response times for emergency vehicles and should ease traffic over time.

The project would also include replacing eight bridges along I-81 and realigning two ramps at exit 150 in Botetourt County.

The public comment period will close on September 29. Comments may be submitted to VDOT project manager Craig Moore, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem, VA 24153. You can also email your comments to I81-Exit143-150@vdot.virginia.gov. Please reference “I-81 Exits 143 to 150 Widening Public Comment” in the subject heading.

After all comments are addressed, they will be presented to VDOT’s Chief Engineer for consideration.