Interstate 81

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Two proposals to expand and rebuild Interstate 81 by two private companies won approval today to advance to the next stage of the review process.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board unanimously accepted Department of Transportation Commissioner Philip Shucet's recommendation to advance the competing proposals for detailed review under the Public-Private Transportation Act.

Two companies have proposed widening the two-lane interstate, where traffic is expected to double within the next 20 years. The highway stretches 325 miles from Virginia's mountainous western spine and through the Shenandoah and Roanoke valleys.

Transportation officials have estimated that it will cost as much as $13 billion and take 30 years to complete the project.

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