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VDOT wants your input on new I-81 widening project

VDOT hosts virtual public hearing Tuesday Feb. 9, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

SALEM, Va. – Before the orange barrels go up, VDOT wants your input on a major long term project.

VDOT is hosting its first virtual public hearing in this part of the state Tuesday, Feb. 9 to discuss widening a five-mile stretch of I-81 in Salem.

The $292 million project will add one lane in each direction on I-81 between exits 141 and 137, that section extends from mile markers 136.6 to 141.8.

There will also be bridges replaced and modifications to some ramps.

This is the first widening project that is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, a $2 billion package funded by the Virginia General Assembly.

Construction is expected to start later this year and will be done by 2026.

“This is a piece of I-81 that experiences congestion, it has about 68,000 vehicles a day use this piece of Interstate 81. There are also significant delays because of crashes, this was an area that was targeted for improvement,” said Jason Bond, VDOT spokesperson.

During the virtual public hearing Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. you will see displays, hear about any possible property impacts and voice your concerns.

“This is the part of the development where it’s important to hear from the community to let them know what’s going on with this project, to let them know that this major project is coming and that there is some additional work being done on Interstate 81 in our area,” said Bond.

There are multiple ways to submit a comment.

  • Complete the form at the bottom of the public hearing webpage
  • Email your comment to with “Interstate 81 Widening Virtual VDOT Design Hearing Public Comments” in the subject line
  • Mail your comment to: Mr. Craig Moore, PE, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem VA 24153

All comments must be postmarked, submitted or email by February 19.

This new project will connect directly to the stretch of two miles that is already under construction for another widening project.

For more information on the project and the link to the virtual public hearing, click here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.