Multiple crashes cause major delays on I-81 at the start of Labor Day weekend

View from VDOT traffic camera at MM 227 of Interstate 81
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (6:05 p.m.):

All northbound lanes are reopen after a tractor trailer crash at mile marker 230 that caused up to 8 miles of backups through Augusta County. After some time, backups have cleared as well.

Near Bridgewater, however, VDOT reports that the southbound left lane and left shoulder remain closed after a crash at mile marker 240, causing backups of at least two miles.

Extreme congestion can be expected on Route 11 as well as drivers try to detour around the scene.

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Drivers heading north on Interstate 81 should be prepared for major delays in multiple parts of the Shenandoah Valley on Friday afternoon.

Earlier, a multi-vehicle crash shut down one southbound lane at mile marker 240, causing major delays of at least seven miles, reaching into Harrisonburg. That crash has since cleared and traffic is moving southbound again.

Later, a crash temporarily shut down all northbound lanes of I-81 at mile marker 230, leading to backups of at least five miles.

That's about three miles north of Verona, with the closest exit being Exit 227.

As of 5:30 p.m., the northbound right lane and right shoulder remained closed, with backups of at least eight miles.

Congestion can be expected on Route 11 as well, as drivers search for detours around the scene.

Farther south, at mile marker 215.5, near Mint Spring, an incident briefly closed the northbound right lane and right shoulder, but that has since cleared.

As of 5:30 p.m., another crash at mile marker 240, however, had closed the southbound left lane and left shoulder, causing southbound delays there.

Heavy traffic at the start of Labor Day weekend has likely been a contributing factor to the large number of I-81 crashes.