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Author Topic: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan  (Read 83205 times)

froggie

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #350 on: July 28, 2019, 10:51:51 PM »

^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...
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tolbs17

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #351 on: July 28, 2019, 10:55:13 PM »

^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...

So, that means this thread is probably going to die? Or should I put more discussion on I-81 about this?
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froggie

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #352 on: July 28, 2019, 10:58:56 PM »

It means you should try reading the threads before commenting.
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famartin

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #353 on: July 28, 2019, 11:20:24 PM »

It means you should try reading the threads before commenting.
+10000000
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Alps

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #354 on: July 28, 2019, 11:28:02 PM »

^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...

So, that means this thread is probably going to die? Or should I put more discussion on I-81 about this?
If you don't have something to add, don't comment.

tolbs17

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #355 on: July 28, 2019, 11:33:10 PM »

^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...

So, that means this thread is probably going to die? Or should I put more discussion on I-81 about this?
If you don't have something to add, don't comment.

Alright. I will only post if i have something to add.
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sprjus4

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #356 on: July 27, 2020, 04:30:38 PM »

Reviving this thread... might be best to update the title to "I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan" or the like, since the tolling proposal is officially dead.

VDOT Launches New Website Supporting I-81 Corridor Improvements
Quote
RICHMOND, Va. — As part of Virginia’s $2 billion Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program, the Virginia Department of Transportation has launched a new website detailing projects that are underway and planned.  As most jurisdictions in the Commonwealth have entered Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia”  plan for easing health restrictions due to the coronavirus, traffic volume is beginning to increase on our roadways.  Transportation planners and the traveling public can find information on Interstate 81 (I-81) projects at Improve81.org.  The website offers information on 64 funded operational and capital improvement projects that are expected to result in 450 fewer crashes and 6 million fewer hours of delay each year. Improvements include traffic cameras and changeable message signs, lane extensions and curve improvements, as well as adding or widening lanes in some sections of the corridor.

The website contains a number of useful features, including:

* An interactive map with detailed project information, including locations and construction timelines
* I-81 Committee agendas and meeting minutes
* Planning documents, financial reports, and related transportation studies
Opportunities to provide input, interact on social media, and subscribe to the project’s e-newsletter

“This is a one-stop-shop for information about I-81,”  said I-81 Program Delivery Director David Covington, P.E. “If you want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how — this is the site to visit.”

Historic legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2019 secured dedicated funding for the 325-mile Virginia I-81 corridor. Funded projects were identified under a data-driven study conducted in 2018. The study resulted in a list of $4.2 billion in potential projects included in a report to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). Project priorities are reviewed by the I-81 Advisory Committee, who provide advice and recommendations to the CTB regarding implementation of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program.

Completion of the current 64-project list will take approximately 13 years. The goal of I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is to improve travel times, increase safety, and encourage economic development.
Most of the widening projects, particularly portions between Christiansburg and Roanoke, aren't supposed to start for several years. Portions around Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Winchester will start in the next 5 years.

Still a very incomplete plan that pushes off the long term need to widen the entire corridor to 6 lanes. Notably the many areas where only -one- direction will be widened to 3 lanes, like near Bristol, Roanoke, Winchester, and a few other areas, leaving the other direction with still 2 lanes. If you aren't going to widen hundreds of miles of interstate immediately, at least widen the segments that are proposed in both directions, not just one.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 04:45:16 PM by sprjus4 »
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #357 on: July 27, 2020, 04:42:57 PM »

Reviving this thread... might be best to update the title to "I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan" or the like, since the tolling proposal is officially dead.

....

You can always change the title in your reply so that when people see the list of recent posts, it'll show that title. Future replies to you would then use your title.
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74/171FAN

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #358 on: July 27, 2020, 04:45:09 PM »

I just changed the title as sprjus4 suggested.  It is now "VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan".  -Mark
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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #359 on: July 27, 2020, 06:47:01 PM »

Reviving this thread... might be best to update the title to "I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan" or the like, since the tolling proposal is officially dead.

VDOT Launches New Website Supporting I-81 Corridor Improvements
Quote
RICHMOND, Va. — As part of Virginia’s $2 billion Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program, the Virginia Department of Transportation has launched a new website detailing projects that are underway and planned.  As most jurisdictions in the Commonwealth have entered Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia”  plan for easing health restrictions due to the coronavirus, traffic volume is beginning to increase on our roadways.  Transportation planners and the traveling public can find information on Interstate 81 (I-81) projects at Improve81.org.  The website offers information on 64 funded operational and capital improvement projects that are expected to result in 450 fewer crashes and 6 million fewer hours of delay each year. Improvements include traffic cameras and changeable message signs, lane extensions and curve improvements, as well as adding or widening lanes in some sections of the corridor.

The website contains a number of useful features, including:

* An interactive map with detailed project information, including locations and construction timelines
* I-81 Committee agendas and meeting minutes
* Planning documents, financial reports, and related transportation studies
Opportunities to provide input, interact on social media, and subscribe to the project’s e-newsletter

“This is a one-stop-shop for information about I-81,”  said I-81 Program Delivery Director David Covington, P.E. “If you want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how — this is the site to visit.”

Historic legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2019 secured dedicated funding for the 325-mile Virginia I-81 corridor. Funded projects were identified under a data-driven study conducted in 2018. The study resulted in a list of $4.2 billion in potential projects included in a report to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). Project priorities are reviewed by the I-81 Advisory Committee, who provide advice and recommendations to the CTB regarding implementation of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program.

Completion of the current 64-project list will take approximately 13 years. The goal of I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is to improve travel times, increase safety, and encourage economic development.
Most of the widening projects, particularly portions between Christiansburg and Roanoke, aren't supposed to start for several years. Portions around Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Winchester will start in the next 5 years.

Still a very incomplete plan that pushes off the long term need to widen the entire corridor to 6 lanes. Notably the many areas where only -one- direction will be widened to 3 lanes, like near Bristol, Roanoke, Winchester, and a few other areas, leaving the other direction with still 2 lanes. If you aren't going to widen hundreds of miles of interstate immediately, at least widen the segments that are proposed in both directions, not just one.

Actually, I'd widen the uphill sections to three lanes uphill/two lanes downhill before I'd widen both sides in a given location. The biggest issue I've noticed on I-81 is the micropassing trucks on the grades.
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Jmiles32

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #360 on: July 27, 2020, 09:43:36 PM »

Reviving this thread... might be best to update the title to "I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan" or the like, since the tolling proposal is officially dead.

VDOT Launches New Website Supporting I-81 Corridor Improvements
Quote
RICHMOND, Va. — As part of Virginia’s $2 billion Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program, the Virginia Department of Transportation has launched a new website detailing projects that are underway and planned.  As most jurisdictions in the Commonwealth have entered Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia”  plan for easing health restrictions due to the coronavirus, traffic volume is beginning to increase on our roadways.  Transportation planners and the traveling public can find information on Interstate 81 (I-81) projects at Improve81.org.  The website offers information on 64 funded operational and capital improvement projects that are expected to result in 450 fewer crashes and 6 million fewer hours of delay each year. Improvements include traffic cameras and changeable message signs, lane extensions and curve improvements, as well as adding or widening lanes in some sections of the corridor.

The website contains a number of useful features, including:

* An interactive map with detailed project information, including locations and construction timelines
* I-81 Committee agendas and meeting minutes
* Planning documents, financial reports, and related transportation studies
Opportunities to provide input, interact on social media, and subscribe to the project’s e-newsletter

“This is a one-stop-shop for information about I-81,”  said I-81 Program Delivery Director David Covington, P.E. “If you want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how — this is the site to visit.”

Historic legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2019 secured dedicated funding for the 325-mile Virginia I-81 corridor. Funded projects were identified under a data-driven study conducted in 2018. The study resulted in a list of $4.2 billion in potential projects included in a report to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). Project priorities are reviewed by the I-81 Advisory Committee, who provide advice and recommendations to the CTB regarding implementation of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program.

Completion of the current 64-project list will take approximately 13 years. The goal of I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is to improve travel times, increase safety, and encourage economic development.
Most of the widening projects, particularly portions between Christiansburg and Roanoke, aren't supposed to start for several years. Portions around Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Winchester will start in the next 5 years.

Still a very incomplete plan that pushes off the long term need to widen the entire corridor to 6 lanes. Notably the many areas where only -one- direction will be widened to 3 lanes, like near Bristol, Roanoke, Winchester, and a few other areas, leaving the other direction with still 2 lanes. If you aren't going to widen hundreds of miles of interstate immediately, at least widen the segments that are proposed in both directions, not just one.
^Agreed. I-81 from Exit 118 to Exit 150 needs 3 lanes in both directions period. Why the Roanoke area improvements, on arguably the worst stretch of I-81 in the entire state, are still at least another decade away blows my mind. Not sure why they decided to leave out widening I-81 through the I-581 interchange and southbound from Exit 137 to Exit 128. Seems like an inconsistant 3rd lane through here will only cause more problems. Also while the study recommended $4.2 billion in potential projects, I'm pretty sure if my memory serves me correctly, that these planned improvements are only costing around $2.1 billion. Would love to see the other half get funded, although I'm sure the people of western Virginia would be against an additional tax hike in order to do so.

Finally somewhat related, I was disappointed to learn that a new interchnage isn't planned for the new Tevis street overpass in Winchester. Seemed to me like a great opportunity to provide better connectivity to the Apple Blossom commercial area and at least partially relieve the popular and in my experiences often times congested, Exit 313 (new bridge for Exit 313 planned for 2023).
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Jmiles32

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #361 on: July 27, 2020, 09:48:53 PM »

Actually, I'd widen the uphill sections to three lanes uphill/two lanes downhill before I'd widen both sides in a given location. The biggest issue I've noticed on I-81 is the micropassing trucks on the grades.

Any notable hilly portions of I-81 where there aren't planned truck climbing lanes but probably should've been?
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seicer

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #362 on: July 27, 2020, 10:30:03 PM »

Are tolls still being considered? (Noting http://improve81.org/resources-and-documents/easset-upload-file70998-154776-e.pdf has tolling listed as a potential financing option.)

sprjus4

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #363 on: July 27, 2020, 11:26:18 PM »

Are tolls still being considered? (Noting http://improve81.org/resources-and-documents/easset-upload-file70998-154776-e.pdf has tolling listed as a potential financing option.)
That’s an old 2018 report, the decision to eliminate tolls came after that when new tax increases were approved in early 2019 to fund improvements.
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Starfighterace

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #364 on: July 28, 2020, 08:52:39 AM »

...and yet the VA Governor raised the Gas tax 5 cents along the I-81 Corridor to pay for these improvements and the General Assembly raised the Gas tax state wide 13 cents to get the ball rolling and all of us have seen are some acceleration/deceleration lane modifications. Just where is the money going?
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sprjus4

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #365 on: July 28, 2020, 10:08:38 AM »

...and yet the VA Governor raised the Gas tax 5 cents along the I-81 Corridor to pay for these improvements and the General Assembly raised the Gas tax state wide 13 cents to get the ball rolling and all of us have seen are some acceleration/deceleration lane modifications. Just where is the money going?
The overall plan is $2.2 billion and won’t be completed until around 2030. The major improvements include around 50 miles of 6 lane widening.

The statewide gas tax is to fund improvements along other interstates, particularly I-64 and I-95. I-95 likely won’t see any general purpose widening since the state and Transurban refuse, though I-64 will likely be expanded to 6 lanes between Richmond and Williamsburg.
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Thing 342

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #366 on: July 28, 2020, 01:16:46 PM »

...and yet the VA Governor raised the Gas tax 5 cents along the I-81 Corridor to pay for these improvements and the General Assembly raised the Gas tax state wide 13 cents to get the ball rolling and all of us have seen are some acceleration/deceleration lane modifications. Just where is the money going?
The overall plan is $2.2 billion and won’t be completed until around 2030. The major improvements include around 50 miles of 6 lane widening.

The statewide gas tax is to fund improvements along other interstates, particularly I-64 and I-95. I-95 likely won’t see any general purpose widening since the state and Transurban refuse, though I-64 will likely be expanded to 6 lanes between Richmond and Williamsburg.

My impression was that the bulk of the tax money was to go towards improvements on the Amtrak Northeast corridor from Richmond to DC, including a new crossing of the Potomac.
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sprjus4

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #367 on: July 28, 2020, 01:37:45 PM »

...and yet the VA Governor raised the Gas tax 5 cents along the I-81 Corridor to pay for these improvements and the General Assembly raised the Gas tax state wide 13 cents to get the ball rolling and all of us have seen are some acceleration/deceleration lane modifications. Just where is the money going?
The overall plan is $2.2 billion and won’t be completed until around 2030. The major improvements include around 50 miles of 6 lane widening.

The statewide gas tax is to fund improvements along other interstates, particularly I-64 and I-95. I-95 likely won’t see any general purpose widening since the state and Transurban refuse, though I-64 will likely be expanded to 6 lanes between Richmond and Williamsburg.

My impression was that the bulk of the tax money was to go towards improvements on the Amtrak Northeast corridor from Richmond to DC, including a new crossing of the Potomac.
I believe so, though I do know a certain portion was to be allocated toward I-64, I-81, and I-95.

Perhaps in the future we could see money allocated toward new corridors such as I-73.
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sprjus4

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #368 on: February 04, 2021, 01:30:07 PM »

A virtual public hearing for February 9, 2021 is currently planned for an upcoming project that will widen 4 miles of I-81 in Roanoke-Salem from 4 to 6 lanes between Exits 137 and 141.

The project is currently projected to cost $292.5 million, will begin construction at the end of this year and be completed by 2026. The widening will seamlessly tie into the currently under construction project between Exits 141 and 143 (I-581) to ultimately provide 3 through lanes in each direction for a distance of 7 miles between Exits 137 and 143.

As apart of the project, 6 mainline bridges will be replaced and 2 will be widened to accommodate the additional capacity. Acceleration and deceleration lanes will be extended where necessary.

https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/interstate-81-widening-exit-137-to-141---roanoke-county-and-city-of-salem.asp
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Jmiles32

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #369 on: February 04, 2021, 03:29:29 PM »

A virtual public hearing for February 9, 2021 is currently planned for an upcoming project that will widen 4 miles of I-81 in Roanoke-Salem from 4 to 6 lanes between Exits 137 and 141.

The project is currently projected to cost $292.5 million, will begin construction at the end of this year and be completed by 2026. The widening will seamlessly tie into the currently under construction project between Exits 141 and 143 (I-581) to ultimately provide 3 through lanes in each direction for a distance of 7 miles between Exits 137 and 143.

As apart of the project, 6 mainline bridges will be replaced and 2 will be widened to accommodate the additional capacity. Acceleration and deceleration lanes will be extended where necessary.

https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/interstate-81-widening-exit-137-to-141---roanoke-county-and-city-of-salem.asp

Good. This was probably the stretch of I-81 that needed widening the most so I'm glad it's first in line. Looking down the road it appears that 2024 will be a big year for I-81 as that will mark the start of other widening projects in Bristol, Staunton, Weyers Cave, Harrisonburg, Strasburg, and north of I-581.
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ahj2000

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #370 on: February 10, 2021, 02:06:43 AM »

A virtual public hearing for February 9, 2021 is currently planned for an upcoming project that will widen 4 miles of I-81 in Roanoke-Salem from 4 to 6 lanes between Exits 137 and 141.

The project is currently projected to cost $292.5 million, will begin construction at the end of this year and be completed by 2026. The widening will seamlessly tie into the currently under construction project between Exits 141 and 143 (I-581) to ultimately provide 3 through lanes in each direction for a distance of 7 miles between Exits 137 and 143.

As apart of the project, 6 mainline bridges will be replaced and 2 will be widened to accommodate the additional capacity. Acceleration and deceleration lanes will be extended where necessary.

https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/interstate-81-widening-exit-137-to-141---roanoke-county-and-city-of-salem.asp

Good. This was probably the stretch of I-81 that needed widening the most so I'm glad it's first in line. Looking down the road it appears that 2024 will be a big year for I-81 as that will mark the start of other widening projects in Bristol, Staunton, Weyers Cave, Harrisonburg, Strasburg, and north of I-581.
Oh looking forward to this. It really could use six lanes from Winchester to Roanoke. Gotta say, Weyers Cave surprised me as one of the next places to widen. Even the Strasburg area has to have a lot more merging/weaving traffic.
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Jmiles32

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #371 on: February 10, 2021, 10:03:40 AM »

Gotta say, Weyers Cave surprised me as one of the next places to widen. Even the Strasburg area has to have a lot more merging/weaving traffic.

To clarify, that project is technically a truck climbing lane project. I just grouped it with the others because I felt it was significant enough (a few miles in each direction) to be classified as a widening project. Also, the AADT here is 57,000 which is actually higher than some of the other to be widened sections on this list.
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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #372 on: February 10, 2021, 11:06:49 AM »

A virtual public hearing for February 9, 2021 is currently planned for an upcoming project that will widen 4 miles of I-81 in Roanoke-Salem from 4 to 6 lanes between Exits 137 and 141.

The project is currently projected to cost $292.5 million, will begin construction at the end of this year and be completed by 2026. The widening will seamlessly tie into the currently under construction project between Exits 141 and 143 (I-581) to ultimately provide 3 through lanes in each direction for a distance of 7 miles between Exits 137 and 143.

As apart of the project, 6 mainline bridges will be replaced and 2 will be widened to accommodate the additional capacity. Acceleration and deceleration lanes will be extended where necessary.

https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/interstate-81-widening-exit-137-to-141---roanoke-county-and-city-of-salem.asp

The widening of I-81 between VA 419 and I-581 is underway. It still isn't clear how the southbound lanes will shift left so the right lane becomes the exit lane for 419. Continuing the widening is good, since that section get choked to a standstill by just about every accident above a fender-bender. Good that they mention improving deceleration lanes, since the one southbound at exit 137 is a tad short -- one comes rolling down a hill, shifts into a short deceleration lane, and has to drop a lot of speed real fast for the 25 MPH curve of the ramp. Those familiar with the exit know to put their turn signal on early, start to slow early, and brake hard. It's surprising there has been only one recent accident where someone missed the curve and went straight into the shallow ravine there.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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sprjus4

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #373 on: August 09, 2021, 08:41:41 PM »

Another 4 miles of widening coming to I-81 between Exits 221 and 225 in Staunton, for approximately $140 million.

VDOT Hosting Citizen Information Meeting August 24 for I-81 Widening Project in Augusta County
Quote
STAUNTON — The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a citizen information meeting for the planned widening of Interstate 81 in Augusta County near Staunton. The project would widen I-81 northbound and southbound to three lanes between exit 221 (I-64 interchange) and exit 225 (Route 262/Woodrow Wilson Parkway). The meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 24, in the auditorium of the VDOT Staunton District office, 811 Commerce Road, Staunton, Virginia 24401.

The proposed project addresses existing and future capacity needs along I-81 northbound and southbound between mile marker 221.7 and 225.5. The project maintains roadway and bridge safety features, improves operational safety by adding I-81 capacity, improves travel reliability for the public, limits impacts to existing access ramps, and repairs or replaces deficient bridge components within the project.

Specific improvements include:

Addition of one lane in the northbound direction of I-81 from the Route 250 (Jefferson Highway) on-ramp at exit 222 to the Route 262 off-ramp at exit 225.
Addition of one lane in the southbound direction of I-81 from Route 262 south at exit 225 to approximately 1,200 feet south of the I-81 bridge over the I-81 southbound / I-64 eastbound ramp.
Widen, replace and/or repair deficient elements of existing bridges within the project limits.
Make sensible use of existing pavement and rights-of-way to accomplish the capacity improvements.
Maintain or enhance operational safety through improvements to signs and pavement markings.
The total estimated cost of the I-81 Staunton-area widening project is $140.2 million including $11.3 million for preliminary engineering, $2.7 million for right of way and $126.2 million for construction.

Additional information about the project is on the VDOT website at the following link:
[url]https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/interstate-81-staunton-area-widening.asp[/url].

The project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program (CIP), which aims to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor. The I-81 CIP was approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in spring 2019. More information about the program is available at Improve81.org.

It's nice to see these small projects push forward, but it's a shame there's no big widening program to get significant chunks at a time. We're seeing 4 miles here, 4 miles there, etc. to get done by 2030, and they're very costly on a per mile basis. Take a peek at something like I-95 widening in North Carolina where they're doubling 50 miles worth of highway from 4 to 8 lanes before the end of the decade, and for only roughly $1 billion. This is the type of commitment that's needed for I-81, but unfortunately that's not the case.

Here's a couple examples of some "big" projects:
- 30 miles of widening between either end of I-64.
- 26 miles of widening between I-581 and US-460.
- 24 miles of widening between I-66 and West Virginia.

Those are just some ideas. They're big investments, but would definitely pay off in the long term. For improvements coming from a program that's using increased taxes and bonds to help fund these individual projects, you'd think more progress would be shown. There's not even plans to expand beyond the small sections identified in the program, let alone any funding sources.
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VTGoose

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Re: VA I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
« Reply #374 on: August 10, 2021, 11:26:08 AM »

It's nice to see these small projects push forward, but it's a shame there's no big widening program to get significant chunks at a time. We're seeing 4 miles here, 4 miles there, etc. to get done by 2030, and they're very costly on a per mile basis. Take a peek at something like I-95 widening in North Carolina where they're doubling 50 miles worth of highway from 4 to 8 lanes before the end of the decade, and for only roughly $1 billion. This is the type of commitment that's needed for I-81, but unfortunately that's not the case.

Here's a couple examples of some "big" projects:
- 30 miles of widening between either end of I-64.
- 26 miles of widening between I-581 and US-460.
- 24 miles of widening between I-66 and West Virginia.

Those are just some ideas. They're big investments, but would definitely pay off in the long term. For improvements coming from a program that's using increased taxes and bonds to help fund these individual projects, you'd think more progress would be shown. There's not even plans to expand beyond the small sections identified in the program, let alone any funding sources.

No disagreement, but the flatlands of North Carolina really don't translate well to the up-and-down route of I-81. The section of I-81 northbound from exit 118 at Christiansburg to I-581 (and the remaining section of the southbound lanes) desperately needs a third lane, partly for traffic flow and partly to help when the "wreck of the day" ties up a lane/both lanes/both lanes and shoulder. But look at the time and expense to add the third lane south from where it ended after the first climb from the Ironto exit to exit 118. That work alone could probably wipe out any funding for all the other bandaid projects such at the one at Staunton or the one starting soon around Salem. Perhaps the federal infrastructure bill will kick in more funds for more work.

Bruce in Blacksburg
 
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