Lane, ramp closures on Interstate 81 starting Thursday night

An important traffic alert for drivers on Interstate 81.

Starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, only one southbound lane will be open between mile markers 136 and 138.

The off-ramp for Wildwood Road is also closing overnight.

During that time, VDOT crews will reposition a barrier wall in the work zone, leading to a new traffic pattern.

This is all part of a widening project near Salem, which is an area known for congestion and delays.

“Adding an additional lane will improve safety and reliability and even help with crash clearance in the future so this is certainly a project we’ve been working toward delivering,” said Jason Bond, with the VDOT Salem District.

Construction started more than two years ago, and is expected to be complete in early 2026.

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