All lanes reopen after I-81 crash that caused backups of over 10 miles

Snapshot from VDOT traffic camera at MM 235 of Interstate 81 as of 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, 2019
Snapshot from VDOT traffic camera at MM 235 of Interstate 81 as of 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, 2019(WHSV)
Published: Oct. 29, 2019 at 12:37 PM EDT
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UPDATE (2:50 p.m.):

All lanes of Interstate 81 are open again and all backups have cleared after a crash early Tuesday afternoon led to a lane closure that caused delays of over 10 miles at their worst.


UPDATE (1:15 p.m.):

The backup of traffic on the southbound side of Interstate 81 has now exceeded 10 miles, stretching from the scene of a crash at mile marker 230.6, near Fort Defiance, all the way past Exit 240 for Bridgewater.

Drivers who seek to detour around the scene can also expect extreme congestion on Route 11, from Harrisonburg to Verona, as so many other drivers try the exact same thing.

Crews have been on scene working on cleanup and recovery for over an hour.


Drivers heading south on Interstate 81 should either be prepared for major delays or search for alternate routes before they get to the Weyers Cave area.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a crash closed the southbound left shoulder and left lane of I-81 at mile marker 230.6 this afternoon.

That's north of Verona, in the Fort Defiance area. For those heading southbound, the closest exit before the scene is Exit 235 in Weyers Cave.

As of 12:48 p.m., backups stretched back at least nine miles, past Weyers Cave, nearly to the Bridgewater exit.

Cleanup and recovery efforts at the scene have been ongoing for about an hour.

The 8-mile stretch of no exits from Weyers Cave to Verona frequently gets backed up when there are crashes in the area.

There's no estimate available yet on when the lane will reopen.