FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – The twists and turns of Route 116 between Roanoke and Franklin counties has been illuminated with detour signs for months, but the road could reopen soon.
VDOT spokesperson Jason Bond estimates the road, which washed out during a storm in May, could be ready for cars by Labor Day Weekend.
“They have built up the roadbed, they put stone where the road collapsed,” Bond said. “The next step once the roadbed is built up is to pave the road. It is a massive job.”
Route 116 is a popular thoroughfare between Roanoke and Smith Mountain Lake, and drivers who use the road miss its accessibility. That includes Donnie Montgomery, who co-founded Franklin County dairy company Homestead Creamery.
“Naturally, if people are coming by a place, they are more apt to stop. I would have to say that,” said Montgomery, whose business sits at the junction of Routes 116 and 122. “I use 116 every day, but I don’t go far enough to where it affects me. I just see the sign.”
Bond is optimistic those detour signs will be removed soon, although he said some work will continue even after cars return to the route.
“Contractors have been working basically 6 days a week for months making these repairs,” Bond said. “Holiday travelers will have that road for any Smith Mountain Lake trips they want to make.”