Interstate 77 South

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Interstate 77 & U.S. 52 south
Interstate 77 enters Virginia midway through the East River Mountain Tunnel east of Bluefield. The four lane tunnel consists of two 5400 foot long tubes opened to traffic in 1974. Work took five years to complete at a cost of $40 million. More info can be found at the FHWA web site. Photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 52 utilizes the East River Tunnel between Exit 1 in West Virginia and Exit 66 in Virginia. Virginia 598 (East River Mountain Road) meanders across East River Mountain to the west as the old alignment of both U.S. 21 and 52 into Bluefield. U.S. 52 south otherwise rejoins its two-lane alignment along Scenic Highway south to Rocky Gap. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 south
Interstate 77 and parallel U.S. 52 (Scenic Highway) travel south along side Laurel Creek between North Gap to Rocky Gap of Buckhorn Mountain. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Rich Mountain to the west, Wolf Creek Mountain to the east and Brushy Mountain to the south rise along the southern horizon of Interstate 77 in this scene. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Virginia Secondary 613 (Laurel Fork Road) passes under Interstate 77 one mile north of the Exit 64 diamond interchange with Virginia 61 (Clear Fork Creek Road) & U.S. 52 at Rocky Gap. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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Interstate 77 bends southeast through Rocky Gap; Exit 64 departs for Virginia 61 (Clear Fork Creek Road) southwest to Tazewell and northeas to Narrows. U.S. 52 briefly merges with Virginia 61 between Scenic Highway north and south. Photo taken 10/02/10. Second photo taken 06/17/05.
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Interstate 77 and U.S. 52 travel through Rocky Gap to South Gap and Exit 62. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
Virginia Secondary 606 (Wilderness Road) ties into U.S. 52 (Scenic Highway) just west of the Exit 62 diamond interchange. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Southbound mileage sign listing the distance to the Bland County seat of Bland, Wytheville (Interstate 81), and Bristol (the southbound destination of Interstate 81). Photo taken 10/02/10.
Exit 62 departs Interstate 77 south for SSR 606 (Wilderness Road) at South Gap. SSR 606 follows Wilderness Creek east in the valley between Wolf Creek and Brushy Mountains to Pumpkin Center en route to Hollybrook. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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The Virginia Welcome Center and its companion rest area reside along Interstate 77 south after South Gap. Photos taken 10/02/10.
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Eight miles north of Bland, Interstate 77 straddles follows the Wolf and Camp Creek Valleys between Round and Brushy Mountains. Photo taken 10/02/10. Second photo taken 06/17/05.
Indian Village Trail (SSR 666) connects Interstate 77 (Exit 68) with U.S. 52 (Scenic Highway) south of Hicksville and north of Bastian. Photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 52 continues in close proximity to Interstate 77 through Bastian, across Brushy Mountain, and into Bland. Virginia Secondary 614 (Grapefield Road) stems west from U.S. 52 nearby to Grapefield and Virginia 61 near Shawver Mill. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 reassurance marker posted within the diamond interchange of Exit 58. The course of Wolf Creek was realigned to flow west of the freeway in this vicinity. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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Now five miles north of Bland and 16 miles out from Wytheville on I-77 south along the western slop of Hogback mountain. Photos taken 10/02/10.
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Interstate 77 elevates again as it passes over Brushy Mountain. U.S. 52 (Scenic Highway) comes into view on the right. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 52 (Scenic Highway) passes under Interstate 77 and enters Bland as Main Street. Virginia 42 (Blue Grass Trail) merges with the US route along Scenic Highway west to the Exit 52 diamond interchange. Photo taken 06/17/05.
U.S. 52 south & Virginia 42 (Scenic Highway) west travel four miles together and split on respective paths to Wytheville and Broadford. Virginia 42 exists in three segments on an overall 213-mile route. The state route through Bland is part of the southern leg between Virginia 91 and Virginia 100 (Poplar Hill). Photo taken 10/02/10.
Lowering to pass under Virginia 42, a reassurance marker appears. SR 42 was realigned slightly to accommodate I-77. SSR 659 (G.B. Kegley Drive) to the west and Short Run Drive to the east remain from the original alignment of U.S. 21-52 & Virginia 42. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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Weigh stations for commercial trucks are in operation on both sides of Interstate 77 south of Bland. Photo taken 10/02/10. Second photo taken 06/17/05.
Interstate 77 continues ten miles south to Wytheville. Roanoke joins the mileage sign for connections to Interstate 81 north. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Southbound travelers reenter Jefferson National Forest on the climb to Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. Photo taken 06/17/05.
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Big Walker Mountain consists of twin 4,200 foot long tunnels at an elevation between 2,900 and 3,000 feet. The crossing opened in 1972 after five years of work at a cost of $50 million. Additional info can be found at the FHWA web site. Photos taken 06/17/05, 10/02/10.
Exiting Big Walker Tunnel on I-77 south. Photo taken 10/02/10.
A folded diamond interchange greets southbound motorists exiting Big Walker Tunnel with Virginia Secondary 717 (Exit 47). SSR 717 (Little Creek Road) straddles the valley between Big and Little Walker Mountains west to U.S. 52 (Stoney Fork Road) and east to Carnot and SSR 601. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 nips the northern corner of Wythe County midway through Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. The freeway reenters Bland County at Exit 47. Photo taken 06/17/05.
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Ascending over Little Walker Mountain on the five-mile approach to Wytheville. Interstate 77 enters Wythe County and leaves Jefferson National Forest on this stretch. Photos taken 10/02/10, 06/17/05.
Continuing south along Interstate 77 between Queens Knob and Cove Mountain. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Attached to the SSR 603 (Cove Road) overpass is the one-mile guide sign for Exit 41, Virginia Secondary 610 (Peppers Ferry Road). Photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 merges with Interstate 81 north & U.S. 52 south at the Exit 40 trumpet interchange just south of SSR 610 (Peppers Ferry Road). Interstates 77-81 & U.S. 52 venture east to Fort Chiswell, south of Max Meadows, while SSR 610 continues east from Wytheville to Max Meadows via Stringtown. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Exit 41 consists of a folded diamond interchange with SSR 610 (Peppers Ferry Road). Peppers Ferry Road enters Wytheville and ends at the intersection of 11th Street and Monroe Street, one block north of U.S. 11 (Main Street). Interstate 77 meanwhile bypasses Wytheville to the east with Interstate 81 north & U.S. 52 south. Interstate 81 south & U.S. 52 north travel two miles west from Exit 40 to their split at North 4th Street. Photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 21, long since truncated from Cleveland to Wytheville, begins at the Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 diamond interchange with 4th Street nearby. Photo taken 06/17/05.
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Drivers bound for Interstate 81 south to Marion, Abingdon, Bristol, and Knoxville, Tennessee part ways with Interstate 77 south at Exit 40. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
The freeway mainline maintains two overall lanes and joins Interstate 81 north & U.S. 52 south from the right. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Interstate 77-U.S. 52 south & Interstate 81 north
Shortly after combining, Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 north and Interstate 77 south enter a trumpet interchange with U.S. 11 (Main Street) in Wytheville. U.S. 11 leads west to Wytheville Community College and downtown from Exit 73. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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Exit 73 departs Interstates 77-81 & U.S. 52 east beyond the Lithia Road overpass onto U.S. 11 (East Main Street) south. U.S. 11 north joins the trio east; its original alignment parallels the freeway as a frontage roads (Nye Road). Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77-U.S. 52 south & Interstate 81-U.S. 11 north
Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 north and Interstate 77 & U.S. 11 south form what is commonly referred to the road community as a "wrong way multiplex". The eight-mile overlap between Interstates 77 & 81 travel primarly east-west between Wytheville and Fort Chiswell. Pictured here is the first shield assembly for all four at a Norfolk Southern Railroad under pass east of Exit 73. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Interstate 81 & U.S. 11 north travel together to Exit 89 south of Pulaski. Interstate 77 ventures south to Statesville and Charlotte, North Carolina. U.S. 52 mirrors the corridor to near Mount Airy, North Carolina. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Crossing Reed Creek along Interstate 77-U.S. 52 south & Interstate 81-U.S. 11 north. 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 06/17/05.
Exit 77 provides access to old U.S. 11 & 52 (Lee Highway) and Chapman Road via a diamond interchange. Photo taken 10/02/10.
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A number of travelers services can be found on the adjacent frontage roads at Exit 77. Lee Highway and Chapman Road continue along side Interstates 77-81 and U.S. 11-52 to Fort Chiswell Road (Exit 80). Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
Six lanes of freeway continue between Exits 77 and 80. The second and final set of reassurance shields for Interstates 77-81 & U.S. 11-52 follow the on-ramp from Ready Mix Road (the connector between the service roads). Photo taken 06/17/05.
Interstate 77 south will split from Interstate 81 & U.S. 11 north in three miles at Exit 80. The corridor is scenic on its southward path toward North Carolina. Photo taken 10/02/10.
U.S. 52 leaves the overlap first, following Fort Chiswell Road southward from the Exit 80 diamond interchange with Virginia 121 north to Poplar Camp. Virginia 121 begins and travels 1.83 miles north to Max Meadows. Photo taken 10/02/10.
Exit 80 leaves Interstates 77-81 & U.S. 11 for U.S. 52 (Fort Chiswell Road) south and Virginia 121 (Max Meadows Road) north into Fort Chiswell. The numbering of Virginia 121 relates to the original U.S. 121 corridor between Fort Chiswell and Lexington, North Carolina. This route was vastly absorbed by U.S. 52 in 1935.1 Photo taken 10/02/10.
Ascending along U.S. 52 east at Exit 80 to its turn onto Fort Chiswell Road south. U.S. 52 parallels Interstate 77 closely through Poplar Camp, Hillsville, Fancy Gap, and Cana before entering N.C. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Interstate 77 south & Interstate 81-U.S. 11 north
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The departure of Interstate 77 south toward Hillsville, Galax, Fancy Gap and the Blue Ridge Parkway follows at the Exit 81 trumpet interchange.
New sign bridges and overheads were installed by 2010 leading toward the Interstates 77-81 split. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
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Interstate 77 travels 32 miles south to North Carolina, becoming a part of Interstate 74 east at the border. Interstate 74 east & U.S. 52 south lead to Winston-Salem as Interstate 77 continues south to Statesville and Interstate 40. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
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Unconventional signs that reminded motorists that the right lane defaults onto Interstate 77 south to Charlotte were replaced with a diagrammatical overhead by 2010. Interstate 77 travels 610.10 miles overall between Cleveland and Columbia, South Carolina. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
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Interstate 81 & U.S. 11 continue northeast to Pulaski, Radford, Christiansburg and Roanoke; Interstate 77 turns southeasterly 18 miles to Hillsville and 135 miles to Charlotte. Photo taken 06/17/05. Second photo taken 10/02/10.
Interstate 77 south
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Resuming its solo routing, Interstate 77 continues 21 miles south fo Hillsville and 92 miles to Statesville, North Carolina. Photos taken 06/17/05.
Rising to pass over Hematite Mountain on Interstate 77 south, 17 miles north of Hillsville. Photo taken 12/30/08.
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Drivers sink toward the New River before rising again over Poplar Camp Mountain. U.S. 52 passes under the freeway and crosses the river into Jackson Ferry. Photos taken 12/30/08.
Long exit less stretches is the theme of Interstate 77 between Fort Chiswell and the North Carolina state line. Virginia 69 (Lead Mine Road) meets the freeway near the Carroll County line at Poplar Camp (Exit 24). Photo taken 06/17/05.
Virginia 69 begins at U.S. 52 (Fort Chiswell Road) in Poplar Camp and travels west just five miles through Bethany to Austinville. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Interstate 77 enters Carroll County within the Exit 24 diamond interchange. Photo taken 12/30/08.
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Crossing Poplar Camp Mountain, drivers see a reassurance shield and mileage sign near the SSR 743 (Pleasant View Road) underpass. Photos taken 12/30/08.
The first of four Carroll County exits on Interstate 77 is that of the Exit 19 diamond interchange with Virginia Secondary 620 (Coulson Church Road). Photo taken 12/30/08.
SSR 620 winds southwest from Interstate 77 (Exit 19) to U.S. 58 & 221 at Woodlawn and north to U.S. 52 (Poplar Camp Road). Twin County Airport resides nearby via SSR 743 (Airport Road). Photo taken 12/30/08.
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The hillsides along Interstate 77 vary between forest cover and farm land on the 77-mile drive south to Statesville, North Carolina. Photos taken 12/30/08.
Heading southeast along Interstate 77 near Five Forks on the one-mile approach to U.S. 58 & 221 (Exit 14). U.S. 58 & 221 follow Carrollton Pike east to Stuart Drive in the county seat of Hillsville and west to Woodlawn and Galax. Photo taken 06/17/05.
U.S. 58 & 221 travel 27 miles west from Hillsville to Independence. East of Hillsville, U.S. 58 continues to Meadows of Dan and Stuart while U.S. 221 meanders northeast to Dugspur and Floyd. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Following the Exit 14 off-ramp to its signalized end at U.S. 58 & 221 (Carrollton Pike). U.S. 58 west continues to Mouth of Wilson while U.S. 221 turns southward to Boone, North Carolina from their split at Independence. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Fancy Gap is the last community of significance directly served by Interstate 77 south in Virginia. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Passing over Bronco Road (Virginia Secondary 703) along Interstate 77 south between Exits 14 and 8. Photo taken 12/30/08.
One mile north of the Exit 8 diamond interchange with Virginia 148 east and Virginia Secondary 775 west (Chances Creek Road). Virginia 148 exists only to join U.S. 52 with Interstate 77, traveling just 0.87 miles in the process. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Drivers destined for the Blue Ridge Parkway should use Virginia 148 east to U.S. 52 (Fancy Gap Highway) south to access that National Park Service maintained route. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Heavy truck traffic is prohibited from U.S. 52 (Fancy Gap Highway) south through Fancy Gap. Truckers must instead remain along Interstate 77 to traverse Blue Ridge. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 8 leaves Interstate 77 south for Virginia 148 east and SSR 775 west. SSR 775 continues Chances Creek Road southwest to Virginia 97 at Drenn. Photo taken 12/30/08.
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Truckers are advised to user lower gear over the 7.5 mile stretch leading south from Exit 8 across Blue Ridge. Runaway truck ramps are in place along the same drive and drivers are also advised of potential crosswinds. Photos taken 12/30/08.
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Interstate 77 straddles the side of Blue Ridge at an elevation between 2,700 and 2,200 feet between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Wheeler Knob. Photos taken 12/30/08.
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Lowering from Blue Ridge, Interstate 77 sees a folded diamond interchange with Virginia Secondary 620 (Exit 1) near Lamsburg. SSR 620 follows Old Pipers Gap Road east to Pipers Gap Road in North Carolina and Lamsburg Road north to become Virginia 97 at Drenn and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photos taken 12/30/08.
The final Interstate 77 shield posted in Virginia. A rest area and the North Carolina Welcome center follow. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 77 concludes its 69.40-mile route within the Old Dominion and enters Surry County, North Carolina. Interstate 74 east commences and follows Interstate 77 south to Exit 101. Photo taken 12/30/08.


 

Sources:

  1. US 21 and branches @ Virginia Highways Project.


Photo Credits:

  • 06/17/05 by AARoads.
  • 07/16/05 by AARoads.
  • 12/30/08 by AARoads.
  • 10/02/10 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.

Connect with:
Interstate 81
U.S. 52
U.S. 11
U.S. 58
U.S. 221

Page Updated 02-11-2013.