Detours in place after Franklin Road exit on I-581 closes

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Since early January the Franklin Road bridge here in old Southwest has been closed to traffic, but the on and off ramps from route 220 have remained open.

Starting Wednesday, the off-ramp will close as well. It's a closure that will be in place for the next thirty days.

The closure is going in place as crews continue demolition associated with that Franklin Road Bridge Reconstruction Project.

Crews will be removing the concrete deck and steel portions of the existing bridge that run over that exit ramp.

Until now, drivers have been able to use that franklin road exit ramp from route 220 to get to the Southwest part of Roanoke City.

New detours will make navigating to that area a little more difficult.

Drivers on Franklin Road will still be detoured onto Reserve or Wiley Avenue and taken up Jefferson street to Elm Avenue to get into the city.

Drivers on Route 220 will have to stay on the interstate longer, taking the I-581 exit onto Elm Avenue or the Orange Avenue exits as well.

This is all part of a $13.5 million project that's expected to take two years to complete.

The old bridge had been in use for more than 70 years and was starting to show decay and structural issues.

Now, that bridge is being completely torn down and rebuilt.

This is the first of three additional closures that are expected to impact that off ramp from route 220 over the next year.