VDOT starts work to extend on and off-ramps along I-81 in Shenandoah County
Work is underway to improve several interchanges along Interstate 81 in Shenandoah and Frederick counties.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), ramp improvements have begun at four locations, with planned extensions of acceleration and deceleration lanes for on and off ramps.
The locations where the improvements have begun are:
• Exit 269 (Shenandoah Caverns) – Deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 730 (Caverns Road).
• Exit 279 (Edinburg) – Acceleration lane from Route 185 (Stoney Creek Road) onto southbound I-81.
• Exit 283 (Woodstock) – Acceleration lane from Route 42 (Reservoir Road) onto southbound I-81.
• Exit 302 (Middletown) – Acceleration lane from Route 627 (Reliance Road) onto northbound I-81, and deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 627
VDOT says contractors began placing concrete barriers this week along the right shoulders of I-81 at exits 269, 279 and 283.
Installing those barriers requires overnight right lane closures on those sections of the interstate.
The barriers will remain in place 24/7 to protect work zones during construction on the ramp extensions, and drivers can expect occasional on- or off-ramp closures during overnight hours at each of the affected exits through early August.
When work at the first three interchanges is complete, contractors will begin work on the acceleration and deceleration lanes for northbound I-81 at exit 302.
At all locations, VDOT message boards will alert drivers to specific ramp closures and detour routes.
The upgrades are all part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program
last year to steadily improve parts of the interstate over the coming years.
The $2 billion plan was approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December to target improvements to the interstate with state funding. Parts of the work
Large-scale projects like widening four miles of I-81 between Staunton and Verona, and the addition of truck climbing lanes in Weyers Cave are expected to begin in 2023 and onward.
A widening project is also in development for the Harrisonburg area.
On March 30, 2020, VDOT awarded a $2,153,924 contract to General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton, Virginia, for the I-81 ramp extensions in Shenandoah and Frederick counties. The project has a contract completion date of November 20, 2020. All work is weather permitting.