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VDOT hosts crowded public meeting for future of Interstate 81

State tasked transportation agency to gather feedback

ROANOKE, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation solicited feedback Thursday at its public meeting on the future of Interstate 81.

A large group turned out for the session at the Holiday Inn Valley View in Roanoke. The state tasked the Virginia Department of Transportation with getting the public's feedback on any ideas for the interstate and how to best fund those ideas.

Interstate 81 carries 42% of all of Virginia's truck traffic, and has seen about 11,000 crashes over the last give years. The research will be used to help shape any plans and the public's feedback will play a part in what gets decided.

"We're going to show some data about some crashes and some congestion areas, but really we want that real life experience people are seeing out there on the corridor to support the data," Virginia Department of Transportation Spokesman Jason Bond said.

One of those proposals to help fund projects is charging tolls on Interstate 81 truck traffic. That is a controversial plan and has people both for and against the idea.