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Interstate 81 South - Frederick & Warren Counties

Interstate 81 South
Upon crossing the West Virginia-Virginia state line, southbound Interstate 81 immediately meets Virginia Secondary Route 669. This is the first advance sign for this interchange within the state of Virginia, and the welcome sign is located just beyond that sign. Photo taken 06/01/04.
A look at the Virginia Welcome Sign posted on Interstate 81 southbound at Rest. Photo taken 12/30/08.
The first reassurance shield of Interstate 81 in Virginia coincides with an Eisenhower Interstate System banner. Travelers enter the Shenandoah Battlefields National Historic District at this point. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Winchester (Junction U.S. 17-50-522) is the first destination city of significance along southbound, followed by Strasburg (Junction Interstate 66/U.S. 48), and Roanoke (Junction U.S. 220/Future Interstate 73). Photo taken 12/30/08.
One mile north of the Exit 321 diamond interchange with Virginia Secondary 672 (Hopewell Road) at Clearbrook on Interstate 81 south. Photo taken 12/30/08.
SSR 672 merges U.S. 11 (Martinsburg Pike) briefly at Clearbrook before resuming an easterly course along Brucetown Road to Brucetown and Wadesville. West of Exit 321, SSR 672 dog legs to Welltown, Babbs Mountain, and Cedar Grove. Photo taken 12/30/08.
After Exit 323, southbound Interstate 81 approaches the first rest area in Virginia, which also features a welcome center and tourist information center. Photo taken 12/30/08.

Southbound mileage sign posted six miles north of Winchester and 23 miles north of Strasburg. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Southbound Interstate 81 reaches the tourist information center/rest area near Milepost 320. The next rest area is just south of Exit 264 (Junction U.S. 211 east and Virginia 211 west). Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 kinks southwest on the one-mile approach to Exit 317 with U.S. 11 (Martinsburg Pike). U.S. 11 enters the industrial north side of Winchester from Stephenson to the east. The route widens into a four-lane divided highway ahead of its split with the Virginia 37 freeway.
Note the error U.S. 37 shield. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 317 facilitates movements between U.S. 11 (Martinsburg Pike) and Interstate 81 via a diamond interchange. U.S. 11 and Virginia 37 split nearby, with Virginia 37 looping around the west side of Winchester along a 9.06-mile freeway. Use Virginia 37 south to reach U.S. 522 north to Gainesboro and Cross Junction and U.S. 50 west to Hayfield and Gore. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Virginia 7, a major east-west corridor connecting Winchester with the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, heads east to Berryville, Leesburg, and Herndon. All of Virginia 7 is a divided highway, and the portion of the highway between Round Hill and Leesburg is freeway. A toll road, the Dulles Greenway, provides a bypass of Virginia 7 between Leesburg and Herndon/Dulles International Airport. Interstate 81 will meet Virginia 7 (Berryville Pike) at Exit 315, one mile south of this sign. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The city of Winchester was founded in 1744 and is situated at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley at the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Over 23,000 people live in Winchester, which enjoys a central location on Interstate 81 and transcontinental U.S. 50 (as well as U.S. 17, U.S. 522, and Virginia 7). The area is rich in history; like many other areas in Virginia, it is home to a Civil War-era attraction: General Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters, which was occupied by during the winter of 1861-62. Even President George Washington spent time in Winchester. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Entering the folded diamond interchange with Virginia 7 on Interstate 81 south. Exit 315 lies at the northeast corner of the Winchester city limits, where Virginia 7 transitions from Berryville Pike to Berryville Avenue en route to National Avenue and downtown Winchester. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Following the Exit 315 off-ramp to Virginia 7 from Interstate 81 south. A myriad of traveler related services lie in both directions of Berryville Pike and Avenue. Photo taken 07/16/05.
The next interchange along southbound is for Exits 313B-A, Junction U.S. 17, 50, and 522, one mile. All three routes are merged together on Millwood Avenue as they trend north into downtown. Downtown Winchester marks the northern terminus of U.S. 17; U.S. 17 ends at the intersection with U.S. 11 (Braddock Street/Cameron Street couplet). Both U.S. 50 and U.S. 522 continue northwest out of Winchester. U.S. 50 heads west into West Virginia near Capon Bridge, then passes through the Mountaineer State (and clips Maryland briefly) en route to the Midwest, Plains States, Rocky Mountain States, and ultimately West Sacramento, California. As for U.S. 522, its northerly aspirations are much shorter. It too enters West Virginia, then passes through Hancock, Maryland, before entering the Keystone State of Pennsylvania. U.S. 522 reaches its northern terminus at U.S. 11-15 in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Photo taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 17, a major highway in Virginia, originates in Winchester, extends southeast along with U.S. 50 to Paris to their split. U.S. 50 continues east toward the District of Columbia, while U.S. 17 turns southeast to meet Interstate 66 near Delaplane. Interstate 66 east and U.S. 17 south briefly merge, and they split again at Exit 28 (Marshall). Trucks are prohibited from using U.S. 17 south to Interstate 66 east. Instead, they must continue south on Interstate 81 to Exit 300, Junction Interstate 66. As for U.S. 17, it becomes a prominent route, serving Fredericksburg, Tappahannock, Hampton Roads, and Portsmouth before disappearing into North Carolina. U.S. 17 culminates its southbound journey at U.S. 41 in Punta Gorda, Florida, just south of its interchange with Interstate 75. Photo taken 12/30/08.
No control cities are used on the exit sign for Exit 313A, Junction U.S. 17-50-522 southeast. U.S. 50 continues east to Washington, D.C., Annapolis, and ultimately Ocean City, culminating a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. 522 heads south into the heart of Virginia, joining forces with U.S. 340 near White Post into Front Royal. From there, U.S. 522 heads southeast Sperryville, Culpeper, and Goochland before reaching its southern terminus at U.S. 60 in Powhatan, a good distance south of its parent U.S. 22 (which is way up in Pennsylvania!). Photo taken 12/30/08.
Harrisonburg appears for the first time as the next control city of Interstate 81 south beyond Interstate 66 and Strasburg. Photo taken 12/30/08.
The next exit along southbound is Exit 310, Junction Virginia 37 north to U.S. 11 (Valley Pike) and Virginia Secondary 642 (Tasker Road). This is the final Winchester exit from southbound Interstate 81.
U.S. 11, the local access companion for Interstate 81 throughout Virginia, provides the business route through the city south through Kernstown, while Virginia 37 provides a freeway alternative to west U.S. 50 and north U.S. 522. Plans call for Virginia 37 freeway to be extended southeast to provide another connection to U.S. 522 southbound and ultimately a full loop back to Exit 317. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Virginia 37 ends just east of Exit 310 at SSR 642 (Tasker Road), the northbound side frontage road of Interstate 81. Work is underway to expand the diamond interchange to accommodate future loop or flyover ramps. SSR 642 will relocate eastward to meet the slightly extended state route. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Continuing south along Interstate 81 by Bartonville and the crossing of Opequon Creek. Strasburg is now 12 miles out. Photos taken 12/30/08.
The next interchange along southbound Interstate 81 is Exit 307, Junction Virginia 277 (Fairfax Pike) east to U.S. 340-522 near White Post and west (Fairfax Street) to U.S. 11 at Stephens City. Virginia 277 constitutes a 4.72 mile route between Stephens City and Double Tollgate. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Southbound at the Exit 307 diamond interchange with Virginia 277. Virginia Secondary 631 stems west from Fairfax Street and U.S. 11 (Main Street) in Stephens City to SSR 629 (Middle Road) near Poplar Ridge. U.S. 11 heads south through Vaucluse. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Mileage sign posted for southbound motorists at Stephens City. Roanoke, the main control city of Interstate 81 in Virginia, lies 168 miles ahead. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Truck weigh stations are in operation on both sides of Interstate 81 near Klines Mill and the crossing of West Run. Photos taken 12/30/08.
Many of the rural interchanges along Interstate 81 are designated as part of the state secondary system, which features circular shields rather than the triangular shield used for the primary state system. Route numbers in the secondary route system may be found in multiple parts of the state; they are generally numbered 600 or greater. One such secondary route is found at Exit 302, Junction Virginia Secondary 627 (Reliance Road) at Middletown. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Use Virginia Secondary 627 (Reliance Road) west via Exit 302 to reach Middletown and a junction with U.S. 11 (Main Street / Valley Pike). Looking east, Virginia Secondary 627 connects to U.S. 340-522 (Winchester Road) in Warren County just north of Front Royal and Interstate 66. Interests to Lord Fairfax Community College shoud drive U.S. 11 north. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Southbound Interstate 81 reassurance shield posted at Middletown. Strasburg occupies land near the Shenandoah and Warren County line four miles to the west. Photos taken 12/30/08.
The next exit along southbound Interstate 81 is Exit 300, Junction Interstate 66 east to Washington, D.C. Interstate 66 connects Interstate 81 to the nation's capital, but its future aspirations are much greater. Recent additions to the national high priority corridor system has resulted in plans that would extend Interstate 66 west from Strasburg across the country via the High Priority Corridor 3: Trans-America Corridor. Interstate 66 is being actively developed by the state of Kentucky, and it is possible that this extant section of the freeway may be extended west to reach Kentucky perhaps via Corridor H/U.S. 48 or perhaps by existing freeways (Interstate 81 and Interstate 64). Photo taken 12/30/08.
The tri-level stack interchange (Exit 300) between Interstates 81 and 66 features a left-hand merge from westbound Interstate 66 onto southbound Interstate 81, and this sign advises motorists to use caution in the vicinity of the merge area due to limited merging area. Photo taken 06/01/04.
To reach Interstate 66 east to Front Royal and Washington, D.C., use the left lane; through traffic on southbound Interstate 81 may use either lane. Interstate 66 does not extend past the District of Columbia; it enters the district via the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, splits into the Potomac Freeway northbound and U.S. 50 (Constitution Avenue) eastbound. Like Richard Nixon's presidency, Interstate 66 reaches its end near the Watergate Complex. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Tourists destined for Shenandoah National Park or the scenic Skyline Drive should follow Interstate 66 east to Exit 6 (U.S. 340 & 522) south through Front Royal. This is the first of many signs posted along Interstate 81 for the park and drive. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Southbound Interstate 81 reaches its junction with Exit 300, Junction Interstate 66 east to Front Royal and Washington, D.C. Interstate 66 travels 64 miles east to reach Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway); the beltway is the best route to points north (Baltimore), south (Richmond), and east (Annapolis, Ocean City, and Dover). Trucks to the Virginia Inland Port should also follow Interstate 66 east to Exit 6 (U.S. 340 & 522 north). Photo taken 06/01/04.
Interstate to Interstate junctions in Virginia generally include gore point exit signs featuring the Interstate shield. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 kinks westward and nips the northwest corner of Warren County from within Exit 300 to Cedar Creek. Photo taken 12/30/08.
After the Interstate 66 interchange, southbound Interstate 81 next approaches Exit 298, which is another junction with its companion, U.S. 11. Use U.S. 11 (Old Valley Pike) south to reach Strasburg and north to SSR 629 to Oranda. A less direct route to downtown Strasburg is via Exit 296 (Virginia 55 east). Photo taken 06/01/04.
Crossing Cedar Creek at the Shenandoah County line on Interstate 81 south. Photo taken 06/01/04.



Photo Credits:
2004-06-01, 2005-07-16, 2008-12-30 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 66
U.S. Highway 48 & Virginia Highway 55

Page Updated 04-20-2010.

 
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