VDOT plans to make improvements to the I-81 corridor in Virginia


Wednesday night at Lord Fairfax Community College there was a public meeting to discuss the I-81 corridor improvement plan in Virginia. 

The general public along with politicians and state police came to hear about VDOT’s plans to improve the I-81 corridor across the state.

“Virginia and 81, we’ve got over 51 percent of the delay on the corridor is not recurring. It’s incident related. So it’s very unpredictable travel along the corridor as most folks who live in this portion of the state understand,” said VDOT Project Manager Ben Mannell. 

Feedback from the public was a crucial part of this meeting in order to make I-81 better for everyone who uses it on a daily basis. 

“Some of the comments we’ve received thus far are definitely related to safety and congestion issues. We’ve also had comments related to policy which involves enforcement and potentially restricting vehicles to certain lanes and speeds along the corridor,” said Mannell.

In the Northern Virginia sector, VDOT presented maps that outlined I-81 hot spots running through Frederick County, Warren County and Shenandoah County. 

 “They did note the need for improvements between exit 313 and exit 315. That came as a surprise to us because we really think it should at the minimum include exit 317 which is a grave concern for us,”  Frederick County Assistant Director of Planning, John Bishop.

To combat issues in these hot spots, VDOT has identified potential solutions including:

“Trucking climbing lanes, where we have issues with grade, to auxiliary lanes, where we have issues with interchanges that are closely spaced, and looking to provide people with additional options in terms of the number of lanes that they have to use,” said Mannell. 

As directed by Senate Bill 971,VDOT is required to develop these targeted solutions and they are hoping that the Commonwealth Transportation Board adopts their plan by December and passes it along to the General Assembly. 

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