SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (8:55 p.m.):
View from VDOT traffic camera at MM 277.2
The crash scene has been cleared, according to VDOT. There may still be some traffic congestion on roads in the area.
UPDATE (5:55 p.m.):
One southbound lane of Interstate has been reopened at mile marker 268 in Shenandoah County after a tractor trailer crash temporarily shut down the entire southbound side of the interstate.
Entrances to the interstate remain closed at exits 269 and 273 to avoid making backups worse, and delays from the scene are now estimated at about ten miles.
Drivers heading south on Interstate 81 or Route 11 through Shenandoah County should be prepared for major delays on Tuesday afternoon near Mount Jackson.
According to VDOT, a tractor trailer crash has closed all southbound lanes of Interstate 81 at mile marker 268, leading to delays of at least 8 miles as of 5:10 p.m.
This is between New Market and Mount Jackson.
The right shoulder remains open, where some traffic is trickling by.
To avoid making the backup on the interstate even worse, the Exit 273 entrance ramp to I-81 South is blocked, as is the Exit 269 entrance ramp.
However, as many drivers try to leave the interstate at Exit 273 to avoid the backup ahead and take Route 11 (which is already congested by other drivers with the same idea), it's causing another three miles of backups from that point, leading to a total delay of nearly ten miles.
Along the course of the backup, another crash near mile marker 276 has closed the southbound left lane.
All trucks are encouraged to stay on Route 11 in New Market and re-enter the interstate at Exit 257 in Mauzy.
This massive increase in Route 11 traffic is leading to extreme backups throughout Shenandoah County, affecting a number of school buses taking students home.
A few smaller rear-ending crashes have also been reported along the course of the backed-up traffic on the interstate.
You can find up-to-date travel times and maps for I-81 here.