What Is The I-81 Improvement Program?

Southbound I-81 Rest Area at Mile Marker 158 Closed for Improvements

Details

What Is The I-81 Improvement Program?

The I-81 Corridor Improvement Program consists of innovative, targeted improvements that will have a substantial effect on the safety and reliability of a critical portion of our nation’s infrastructure. Within Virginia, I-81 connects 30 colleges and universities, 21 cities and towns and 13 counties, and parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway, making this program critical to supporting job growth and economic vitality while reducing congestion, enhancing safety and reliability, and improving quality of life for everyone in our region. The 325-mile corridor spans three VDOT districts and also acts as a critical north-south backbone of the East Coast’s freight network. Nearly 50% of the state’s value of goods are transported along the corridor, which has the highest per capita truck volume in Virginia.

For more details on the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program and the lasting benefits it will bring to the Commonwealth of Virginia, visit our About the Program page.

Corridor Overview

What to Expect As...


During construction, drivers may be impacted. Here is what can be expected and what to know before you go.

Commuter

As a commuter, you may see a work zone that impacts your daily commute. Check the interactive corridor map for upcoming and current work in your the area and plan an alternate route.

Truck Driver

As a truck driver, you may experience delays in work zones. Plan stops ahead of time and call 511 for more details of work happening along your route.

Visitor/Tourist

Welcome to Virginia’s I-81 Corridor! While we are working on improving the interstate, you may experience slower traffic in work zones and other improvement areas. Look for the digitial message boards or call 511.

Business Owner

As a business owner, you may experience work zones near your exit. Check the interactive corridor map to see upcoming projects in your area and let your customers know about alternate routes.

Spotlight on progress

Newsletters

81 Insider provides updates on project construction, design, technology and more. Summer 2022 issue is available below.

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Summer 2022


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Podcasts

The Improve I-81 podcast follows the progress of the improvement projects along the I-81 corridor.

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Videos

Stay informed with our informational videos about the improvement projects along the I-81 corridor.

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Program Benefits

Enhanced Safety

Driver safety is our number one priority. This program will implement a series of improvements such as lane extensions to reduce the rate and frequency of crashes along the corridor.

Reduced Congestion

The program improvements will reduce congestion and improve reliability by adding capacity in targeted areas of the corridor and improving speed of incident clearance to help limit travel delays.

Economic Development

I-81 is the main corridor and key economic artery of western Virginia. These improvements will ensure that goods and services critical to our economy moves safely and efficiently through the region.

Capital Improvements Projects

23Bristol?

Counties:

Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe

Cities:

Bristol, Norton

Towns:

Abingdon, Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Chilhowie, Cleveland, Clinchco, Clinchport, Clintwood, Coeburn, Damascus, Duffield, Dungannon, Fries, Gate City, Glade Spring, Grundy, Haysi, Honaker, Independence, Jonesville, Lebanon, Marion, Nickelsville, Pennington Gap, Pocahontas, Pound, Richlands, Rural Retreat, Saltville, St. Charles, St. Paul, Tazewell, Troutdale, Weber City, Wise, and Wytheville

Exit 1 – Exit 86
11Salem?

Counties:

Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe

Cities:

Bristol, Norton

Towns:

Abingdon, Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Chilhowie, Cleveland, Clinchco, Clinchport, Clintwood, Coeburn, Damascus, Duffield, Dungannon, Fries, Gate City, Glade Spring, Grundy, Haysi, Honaker, Independence, Jonesville, Lebanon, Marion, Nickelsville, Pennington Gap, Pocahontas, Pound, Richlands, Rural Retreat, Saltville, St. Charles, St. Paul, Tazewell, Troutdale, Weber City, Wise, and Wytheville

Exit 89 – Exit 168
22Staunton?

Counties:

Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe

Cities:

Bristol, Norton

Towns:

Abingdon, Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Chilhowie, Cleveland, Clinchco, Clinchport, Clintwood, Coeburn, Damascus, Duffield, Dungannon, Fries, Gate City, Glade Spring, Grundy, Haysi, Honaker, Independence, Jonesville, Lebanon, Marion, Nickelsville, Pennington Gap, Pocahontas, Pound, Richlands, Rural Retreat, Saltville, St. Charles, St. Paul, Tazewell, Troutdale, Weber City, Wise, and Wytheville

Exit 175 – Exit 323