VDOT: Be prepared for significant delays because of I-81 lane closure

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation expects drivers to sit in traffic and wait in Roanoke County along I-81. The reason is that road repair will last until at least Thursday.

Crews are working to repair a bridge over Goodwin Avenue that a tractor-trailer hit near Salem early last month.

“There will be a right lane closure on I-81 southbound and mile marker 138.4,” said Jason Bond, spokesperson for VDOT.

Contractors are moving forward after the Thanksgiving holiday to get the bridge fixed, tentatively this week, depending on the weather.

What will make delays worse is that crews are also in the middle of an established work zone for the widening project between exits 137 and 141.

Drivers should expect delays from Botetourt County to Christiansburg.

“Please folks, if you do pay attention to those message boards and consider alternate routes it will save you some delays,” Bond said.

VDOT is encouraging drivers to find an alternate route.

“A lot of time because of a wreck you go to Christiansburg we have to take route 11,” said Carl Barker, who drives trucks for a living.

Barker knows the backways and side roads to use if an accident on the interstate.

“Traffic is awful,” Barker said.

Drivers should expect delays in Salem.

One driver, Monique Brown, is not looking forward to the delays.

“I guess my facial expression told it all huh,” Brown said.

The City of Salem spokesperson released a statement about delays in the area and told WSLS 10 in a statement in part, “Our current Main Street renovation work will pause during this time, in order to keep all lanes open, and folks just need to be patient and seek alternate routes whenever possible.”

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.