Crashes and emergency bridge repair causing delays on I-81 N in Harrisonburg

Expect congestion and delays traveling through Harrisonburg this morning
Emergency bridge repair is causing northbound traffic to be detoured off of I-81 at exit 240
Emergency bridge repair is causing northbound traffic to be detoured off of I-81 at exit 240(VDOT)
Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 6:38 AM EST
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UPDATE 9:00 a.m. - VDOT confirms both travel lanes of I-81 north are open in Rockingham County at mile marker 249. This is where a vehicle struck an overpass bridge around 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

The bridge carries Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) over I-81.

Interstate traffic is moving under the bridge, but Route 720 remains closed as crews continue to access the damage.


UPDATE 8:55 a.m. - VDOT reports the left lane has reopened on I-81 north at mile marker 243. Crews are still working to clear a jack-knifed tractor trailer, but the exit 240 detour will be lifted shortly.


UPDATE 8:25 a.m. - VDOT spokesman Ken Slack confirmed to WHSV traffic is now moving on I-81 N from exit 245 and points north. Traffic is still being detoured off the interstate at exit 240 because of clean-up work to clear a jack-knifed tractor trailer near mile marker 243.

From the prior crash, the damaged Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnance Road) bridge has been assessed by VDOT crews and interstate traffic is flowing again underneath it. But Route 720 traffic is still blocked from travel on top of the bridge.


UPDATE 7:55 a.m. - VDOT is detouring northbound traffic off of I-81 at exit 240 (route 257 Friedens Church Road). Drivers will then take route 11 north (Lee Hwy) through Harrisonburg to reenter the interstate at exit 251.


UPDATE 7:30 a.m. - VDOT has confirmed emergency repair work to a damaged bridge is causing delays on Interstate 81 in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

A large vehicle struck the Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnance Road) bridge over I-81 around 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Expect extensive delays if you are traveling north on I-81 through Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. VDOT crews are inspecting the bridge to make any needed repairs. According to VDOT spokesman Ken Slack, there is no estimate for reopening northbound I-81.

From VDOT:

Northbound I-81 traffic is being detoured at exit 247B (Route 33 West/Harrisonburg). Detoured drivers will follow Route 33 (Market Street) west, Mason Street north, and then Route 11 (North Main Street/Lee Highway) north to return to I-81. Motorists should expect major traffic delays in the Harrisonburg area.


Original Story:

According to Harrisonburg Police, drivers on I-81 northbound should expect delays today due to construction.

Right now, both northbound lanes are closed from mile marker 247 A to mile marker 251 in the city.

Authorities are rerouting traffic around that area.

VDOT is reporting approximately 3 miles of backups at this time. You can find the latest traffic information here.

Stay with WHSV for updates.

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