Interstate 77 North

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Interstate 77 North
Interstate 77 northbound at the folded diamond interchange of Exit 1. Intersecting the freeway here is Lamsburg and Imogene Roads. Imogene Road travels northwest out of Toast, North Carolina to Lamsburg Road. Lamsburg Road begins at nearby SSR 620 and Imogene Road. From Exit 1 northwest, Lamsburg Road migrates through the community of Lamsburg to Virginia 97 and the Blue Ridge Parkway near Drenn. Photo taken 10/05/01.
Virginia 148 comprises a short connector between U.S. 52 and SSR 778. The state highway transitions into Virginia SSR 775 west of Interstate 77. The village of Fancy Gap resides two miles to the southeast at the junction of U.S. 52 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo taken 10/05/01.
The next interchange of Interstate 77 intersects the U.S. 58 & 221 overlap between Hillsville and Galax. The 28-mile overlap of U.S. 58 & 221 begins 25 miles to the southwest at Independence. Three miles to the east of Exit 14, U.S. 58 & 221 (Stuart Drive) intersect U.S. 52 in Hillsville. Photo taken 10/05/01.
One mile south of the Exit 32 trumpet interchange with Interstate 81. Interstate 77 northbound merges onto Interstate 81 south for a nine-mile overlap to Wytheville. U.S. 11 overlaps with Interstate 81 between Exits 73 (Wytheville) and 89 (Pulaski). The overlap between Interstates 77 & 81 creates an interesting dilemma where Interstate 77 north overlaps with Interstate 81 south and vice versa. This is due to the east-west orientation of Interstate 81 through Wythe County, Virginia. Photo taken 10/05/01.
The scenery continues on Interstate 77 north at the Exit 32 merge onto Interstate 81 & U.S. 11 south. Traffic departing to the right will reach the city of Roanoke in 62 miles. U.S. 11 departs Interstate 81 for the town of Pulaski in eight miles. The Interstate 77 control point from Statesville, North Carolina northward is that of Fort Chiswell. The small town resides just west of the Exit 32 interchange and relates to the Interstate 77 & 81 junction. Photo taken 10/05/01.
Interstate 77 North Interstate 81 U.S. 11 South
The first three Interstate 77 & 81 interchanges is that of Exit 80 with U.S. 52 south & Virginia 121 north. New overheads posted by 2010 included an error U.S. 121 shield for Virginia 121 north that also alludes to the past classification of the state route. The numbering of VA-121 relates to the original U.S. 121 corridor between Fort Chiswell and Lexington, North Carolina, a US route vastly absorbed by U.S. 52 in 1935.2 Photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 52 (Fort Chiswell Road) merges onto the freeway at Fort Chiswell for a ten mile overlap with Interstate 81. Virginia 121 continues northward on the U.S. 52 alignment to Max Meadows. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 U.S. 52 North Interstate 81 U.S. 11 South
The four-way overlap of Interstate 77 north & 81 south and U.S. 11 & 52 involves two north and southbound components traveling in the same direction (U.S. 11 south & U.S. 52 north). Photo taken 10/02/10.
Westbound mileage sign posted eight miles out from Wytheville and the split of all routes. Bluefield lies 37 miles to the north across the West Virginia state line via Interstate 77 and U.S. 52. Bristol is 76 miles to the southwest via Interstate 81 and U.S. 11. Photo taken 10/02/10.
One mile east of Exit 77 with Ready Mix Road. The diamond interchange provides access to old U.S. 11 & 52 (Lee Highway) and Chapman Road. Photo taken 10/02/10.
A number of travelers services can be found on the adjacent frontage roads at Exit 77. Original U.S. 11 (Lee Highway) travels along the north side of the freeway; Chapman Road continues as the south side service road. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Reassurance shield assembly posted for Interstates 77-81 and U.S. 11-52 north after Exit 77. The freeway travels a wide valley between Lick Mountain and Brushy Ridge. Photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 11 southbound departs Interstate 77 & U.S. 52 north and Interstate 81 southbound at the Exit 73 trumpet interchange in one mile. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 leaves Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 immediately after the split with U.S. 11 south at Main Street in Wytheville. A diagrammatic overhead indicates two lanes of travel are available for each Interstate at Exit 72. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Nye Road appears along the north side of Interstates 77-81 on the half mile approach to Exit 73. U.S. 11 rejoins its former alignment along Main Street through downtown Wytheville. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Main Street comprises a commercial arterial to the Wytheville street grid outside downtown. Within downtown, U.S. 11 shares a four block overlap with U.S. 21 before exiting via Lee Highway along Pine Ridge. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 U.S. 52 North Interstate 81 South
One mile southeast of the Exit 72 split of Interstates 77 north and 81 south. Interstate 81 follows a northerly arc to bypass Wytheville as Interstate 77 winds northward across Cove Mountain to Walker Mountain Tunnel on the 27 mile trek to West Virginia. Photo taken 10/02/10.
New guide signs for Exit 72 include the capital city of Charleston for Interstate 77 north. Interstate 77 continues its 610-mile route north from Wytheville to Parkersburg, Canton, Akron and Cleveland. Interstate 81 continues along the Appalachian Mountains, with the Tri-Cities of Tennessee remaining along the 855-mile route. Photo taken 10/02/10.
The final shield assembly for the 8.80-mile overlap of Interstates 77 north & 81 south. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 & U.S. 52 northbound and Interstate 81 southbound expand to four lanes at the Exit 72 split. The western end of the overlap is handled by a trumpet interchange. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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Older guide signs (since replaced) posted at the Interstate 77 northbound / 81 southbound partition. The I-77 control city of Bluefield sees a West Virginian component and a Virginia component. The community lies on the state border west of Interstate 77 along the U.S. 19 & 460 corridors, 26 miles to the north. Photos taken 10/05/01.
Interstate 77 North
Departing Interstate 81 north and U.S. 52 south, Interstate 77 north quickly approaches the folded diamond interchange with SSR 610 (Peppers Ferry Road). Peppers Ferry Road enters Wytheville from the northeast, ending at the intersection of 11th Street and Monroe Street. SSR 610 continues east from Wytheville and I-77 to Max Meadows. Bluefield, situated along the Virginia/West Virginia border, lies 31 miles ahead. Photo taken 09/29/10.
Interstate 77 north arrives at the folded diamond interchange with SSR 717 (Exit 47). SSR 717 extends southwest 4.4 miles to link the interstate with U.S. 52. East of I-77, SSR 717 transitions into SSR 601 and rides along the Big Walker Mountain ridge northeast toward Alum Springs and Virginia 100. Photo taken 09/29/10.
The first of two Interstate 77 tunnels within the state of Virginia is that of the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. The tube is situated just north of the Exit 47 interchange with SSR 717 in Jefferson National Forest. Photo taken 10/05/01.
Entering the northbound portal of the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. Open to traffic in 1972, the tunnel stretches over 4,200 feet under Big Walker Mountain. The interstate will next encounter U.S. 52 in four miles. Photo taken 10/05/01.
A reassurance marker is placed after the Big Walker Mountain tunnel for traffic entering the freeway from Exit 47. Photo taken 09/29/10.
U.S. 52 again interacts with Interstate 77 at the village of Bland. The U.S. highway overlaps with Virginia 42 from near Sharon Springs eastward to Interstate 77 and Bland. Virginia 42 departs U.S. 52 nearby en route to Mechanicsburg. Photo taken 09/29/10.
Interstate 77 northbound at the Exit 52 diamond interchange. The numbering convention sees the exit number and route intersected sharing the same number. The concept happens every so often on the Interstate system. U.S. 52 crosses over Interstate 77 one mile to the north en route to Bastian. Photo taken 09/29/10.
Interstate 77 north continues toward Bluefield and Beckley, West Virginia. Bastian is situated along the U.S. 52 corridor immediately west of the interstate. Photo taken 09/29/10.
In case of emergency, a commercial truck escape ramp is provided after the SSR 612 (Kimberling Road) overpass. Photo taken 09/29/10.
Interstate 77 north navigates the terrain of Hogback Mountain on its approach to Exit 58 (SSR 666). Photo taken 09/29/10.
Approaching the connection with U.S. 52 and Bastian (Exit 58) in one mile. Although signed along the freeway as U.S. 52, SSR 666 (Paul Bartell Road) actually serves as the link between the freeway and U.S. highway. Photo taken 09/29/10.
The last rest area for I-77 in Virginia is situated less than a mile north of SSR 666 (Exit 58). Photo taken 09/29/10.
A diamond interchange facilitates the movements onto SSR 666 (Paul Bartell Road) between Interstate 77 and nearby U.S. 52. The exit serves the nearby community of Bastian 2.3 miles to the southwest. Photo taken 09/29/10.
The interstate continues northward from Exit 58 toward Rocky Gap and West Virginia. The aforementioned rest area is situated around the bend. Photo taken 09/29/10.
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The rural mountains overtake the nearby landscape as Interstate 77 north traverses the western Virginia terrain. I-77 passes through Rocky Gap (in these scenes), which lies immediately north of the U.S. 52 (Exit 62) interchange. The unincorporated town of Rocky Gap lies two miles further north. Photos taken 09/29/10.
Interstate 77 north approaches SSR 606 (Exit 62). U.S. 52 turns north just west of the diamond interchange to hug the freeway through Rocky Gap. Photo taken 09/29/10.
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Interstate 77 northbound at the Exit 62 diamond interchange with SSR 606 at South Gap. U.S. 52 continues to shadow Interstate 77 to the west, traveling alongside the southbound lanes of the freeway for the next two miles. Virginia SSR 606 begins at U.S. 52 adjacent to Exit 62. The state highway travels east to Pumpkin Center and Virginia 42. Photo taken 10/05/01. Second photo taken 09/29/10.
North Interstate 77, after SSR 606 (Exit 58) at South Gap, prepares to enter Rocky Gap. Photo taken 09/29/10.
At nearly 2,200 feet in elevation, Interstate 77 slices through Rocky Gap, nestled between Rich Mountain and Wolf Creek Mountain. Wolf Creek splits the north and south roadways of I-77 as it flows through Rocky Gap. Photo taken 09/29/10.
Another reassurance marker greets motorists descending from Rocky Gap. Photo taken 09/29/10.
U.S. 52 merges with Virginia 61 at the community of Rocky Gap. The two highways overlap through the Exit 64 diamond interchange of Interstate 77. Virginia 61 straddles the mountains of the Jefferson National Forest between Tazewell and Narrows. Photo taken 09/29/10.
The unincorporated community of Rocky Gap lies adjacent to the diamond interchange. U.S. 52 will join the interstate at Exit 66 for a brief sojourn together through the East River Mountain Tunnel into West Virginia. Photo taken 09/29/10.
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Exposed geological layers of the terrain become evident as Interstate 77 continues north from Exit 64. Bluefield is now only seven miles ahead. Beckley, where Interstate 64 joins for its trek to Charleston, lies ahead 45 miles. Photos taken 09/29/10.
Interstate 77 north approaches the folded diamond interchange with Virginia 598. The state highway formerly carried U.S. 52 and U.S. 21 westward into West Virginia and Bluefield prior to the existence of I-77. U.S. 52 now joins the interstate for a 1.75-mile overlap through the East River Mountain Tunnel. Photo taken 09/29/10.
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U.S. 52 travels northward into the state of West Virginia through the Interstate 77 East River Mountain Tunnel between Exit 66 and West Virginia Exit 1. A two-mile guide sign indicates to motorists destined for U.S. 52 and the city of Bluefield to continue northward on Interstate 77. Photo taken 10/05/01. Second photo taken 09/29/10.
U.S. 52 northbound merges onto Interstate 77 at the Exit 66 parclo interchange. Virginia 598 stems from the highway westward to U.S. 460 and Bluefield, West Virginia. Photo taken 10/05/01.
Interstate 77 U.S. 52 North
Interstate 77 & U.S. 52 northbound at the Exit 66 under crossing of Virginia 598. The East River Mountain Tunnel lies ahead. Photo taken 10/05/01.
The second of two Interstate 77 tunnels, the East River Mountain Tunnel lies along the Virginia and West Virginia state border. Photo taken 09/29/10.
Entering the northbound bore of the East River Mountain Tunnel of Interstate 77 & U.S. 52. U.S. 52 departs the freeway via Cumberland Road (Exit 1) at the north end of the tunnel. Photo taken 10/05/01.
Interstate 77 & U.S. 52 north enter West Virginia near the center of the 5,412 foot long East River Mountain Tunnel. Photo taken 09/29/10.


 
Sources:
  1. US 21 and branches @ Virginia Highways Project.


Photo Credits:

  • 10/05/01 by AARoads.
  • 09/29/10 by AARoads.
  • 10/02/10 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.

Connect with:
Interstate 81
U.S. 58
U.S. 11
U.S. 52

Page Updated 02-09-2013.