March 11, 2014
Valley lawmakers are giving the thumbs down to a plan to expand Interstate 81. Delegate Todd Gilbert and other Valley delegates and senators are calling for an immediate halt to negotiations with Star Solutions. They say the plans are just too big and too expensive. The Star Solutions plan calls for tolls and several lanes going in each direction, with separate truck lanes. Star Solutions officials say 81 is very dangerous and there is a need for a massive makeover. Gilbert and Delegate Ben Cline have proposed a plan to limit the expansion of the interstate and use railroads to get rid of some of the truck traffic.
"Once we start building 81 there is not going back so we want to make sure the plan that we have at the start is one that we can live with and that is not detrimental to the citizens of the Shenandoah Valley ultimately," says Gilbert. Gilbert and Cline's plan also calls for more troopers on 81 to catch speeders.