All lanes reopen after series of I-81 crashes cause traffic headache

Published: Apr. 22, 2019 at 3:07 PM EDT
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UPDATE (6:55 p.m.):

All lanes of Interstate 81 are back open and all backups have cleared after an afternoon full of crashes led to nearly constant delays at some point between Verona and Bridgewater on Easter Monday.

As of 6:55 p.m., only shoulder closures due to disabled vehicles remain at MM 237.2 and Exit Ramp 251A.


Drivers headed south on Interstate 81 through Augusta County should be prepared for delays near Verona after northbound drivers faced delays near Weyers Cave earlier.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), an initial crash closed the northbound left lane and left shoulder of the interstate at mile marker 234.5, just before the Weyers Cave exit, around 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.

As of 3:40 p.m., VDOT estimated backups from the scene at about seven miles, reaching all the way back to the closest exit before the crash (Exit 227) in Verona.

By 4:20 p.m., that scene had been cleared, but a second crash that occurred amid the backup caused even more of a problem.

At mile marker 230.8, near the rest stop, a tractor trailer crash closed the northbound left lane and shoulder, causing nearly six miles of delays.

Farther south from that, a completely separate crash at mile marker 227.8, just north of Verona, closed the southbound left lane and shoulder, leading to southbound backups as well.

By 5:40 p.m., all the northbound crashes cleared up, but the southbound crash remained, with a very long clean-up process. With Route 11 already congested for those detouring, in combination with the 8-mile gap between Verona and Weyers Cave with no interstate exits, the backup stretched to 13 miles: all the way from Verona to Bridgewater.

All together, that made four crashes causing lane closures within the stretch from Verona to Bridgewater in just four hours on Monday. Earlier in the afternoon, a multi-vehicle crash

near Bridgewater, before the crash near Weyers Cave.

Heavy congestion has also been reported on Route 11 through Augusta County and Rockingham County as drivers attempted to detour around all of the crash scenes on the interstate.

Traffic is heavier than normal on the interstate as many people travel home from Easter getaways.

You can always check the latest traffic and road conditions through the