Interstate 81 South - Roanoke & Montgomery Counties

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Interstate 81 U.S. 220 South
Exit 146 departs Interstate 81 & U.S. 220 at the Carvin Creek crossing just beyond the Botetourt County line. Virginia 115 travels south six miles to U.S. 221-460-220 Alternate (Orange Avenue) in Roanoke. Photo taken 12/30/08.
The final set of Interstate 81 & U.S. 220 reassurance shields, posted along the southbound freeway as it hugs Green Ridge. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Downtown Roanoke lies eight miles to the southeast via Interstate 581 & U.S. 220. Downtown Salem is an eight mile drive via Interstate 81 south to Virginia 311. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 581 constitutes a 6.64-mile spur connecting the independent city of Roanoke with Interstate 81 near Kingston. The freeway doubles as U.S. 220 for its entire length. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Approaching the three-wye interchange (Exit 143) with I-581/U.S. 220 south on I-81. U.S. 220 comprises a freeway southwest from Downtown Roanoke to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Rocky Mount and Martinsville. Points of interest served by Exit 143 include the Roanoke Valley Visitor Info Center, Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the Roanoke Civic Center, the Center in the Square and Virginia Western Community College. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 143 departs from the left side of Interstate 81 south for Interstate 581 & U.S. 220. Green Ridge continues to rise on the west side of the freeway.
Interstate 581 meets Virginia 101 (Hershberger Road) in 2.6 miles to provide access to Roanoke Regional Airport.
U.S. 220 south from Roanoke doubles as the future corridor of Interstate 73. If ever signed in Virginia, the new route may incorporate the Interstate 581 freeway. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 South
Interstate 81 continues along Green Ridge toward the independent city of Salem. The city center lies five miles to the south via the freway to Virginia 311 (Thompson Memorial Drive). Photo taken 12/30/08.
Virginia 419 (Electric Road) sees a parclo interchange with Interstate 81 at Exit 141 near Hanging Rock. The state route provides the first of three interchanges serving Salem while also connecting I-81 with Virginia 311 (Catawba Valley Drive) north to Bennett Springs, Mason Cove, Catawba in the nearby mountains. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 141 departs Interstate 81 south as a loop ramp to Virginia 419 (Electric Road). Electric Road constitutes an arterial south to Cave Spring between Roanoke and Salem. Virginia 419 othewise is a 10.54-mile route between Hanging Rock and U.S. 220 and U.S. 220 Business in south Roanoke. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 passes over Mason Creek between Virginia 419 and the Virginia 311 (Thompson Memorial Drive) parclo interchange. Virginia 311 enters Salem after a 22-mile drive south from the Craig County seat of New Castle. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Thompson Memorial Drive carries Virginia 311 southwest from Virginia 419 at Hanging Rock to its end at U.S. 11 (College Avenue) in downtown Salem. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Drivers bound for Virginia 311 (Thompson Memorial Drive) loop away from Interstate 81 south at Exit 141. Virginia 311 comprises a multi-state route leading north 59 miles from Salem to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The route was never a part of the original U.S. 311, but was rather a state route extension of the overall corridor. Exit 141 opened by 1986.1 Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 straddles the Salem City and Roanoke County line from Virginia 419 southwest to the Butt Hollow Road under crossing west of Exit 137. Christiansburg is the next city of interest along the southwesterly facing freeway. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Virginia 112 (Wildwood Road) connects the commercial strip of U.S. 11 & 460 (West Main Street) in Salem with Interstate 81 at Exit 137. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 137 facilitates the movements to Wildwood Road via a parclo interchange with Virginia 112 south and SSR 619 north. SSR 619 loops around Little Brushy Mountain to Academy Street in Salem. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Southbound mileage sign posted after the Exit 132 diamond interchange with Dow Hollow Road to U.S. 11 (West Main Street) near Riverside. Fort Lewis Mountain rises to the west at this point 17 miles northeast of Christiansburg. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Travelers enter Montgomery County on the approach to Exit 128 with SSR 603 (Northfork Road) to U.S. 11 & 460 (Roanoke Road). Photo taken 12/30/08.
SSR 603 follows Northfork Road east around Pedlar Hills to U.S. 11 & 460 (Roanoke Road) east of Elliston and west of Lafayette. West of the Exit 128 diamond interchange, SSR 603 parallels the North Fork Roanoke River to Ironto and Ellett west of Hightop Mountain. Photo taken 12/30/08.
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Interstate 81 enters Pedlar Hollow and ascends across Pedlar Hills on the 13-mile drive to Christiansburg. A future interchange (2015 or beyond) will join Interstate 81 with a new 5.7-mile limited-access highway leading directly west to U.S. 460 at Blacksburg. A portion of this road is already open in the form of a two-lane test track operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia Tech, known as the Smart Road. Photos taken 12/30/08.
Two miles east of the Exit 118C/B/A interchange complex with U.S. 11 (Roanoke Street) and the U.S. 460 freeway leading north into Blacksburg. U.S. 11 & 460 enter Christiansburg from Shawsville and travel Roanoke Street to their split at Exit 118C. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 118A provides access to Parkway Drive leading southwest from Interstate 81 and U.S. 460 to a new business and technology park. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 expands first with a truck climbing lane and then a collector distributor roadway to the six-ramp parclo interchange with Roanoke Street. U.S. 11 south & 460 west split at Exit 118C, with U.S. 460 west utilizing the c/d roadway of Interstate 81 south to Exit 118B. Photo taken 12/30/08.
All traffic bound for U.S. 11 (Roanoke Street) or U.S. 460 west to Blacksburg and Pearisburg depart the Interstate 81 main line for the Exit 118 c/d roadway. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Use U.S. 460 west via Exit 118B for the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 south briefly expands to five overall lanes at the Exit 118 c/d roadway separation. Interstate 77 appears for the first time on the pull through panel. Photo taken 12/30/08.
U.S. 11 & 460 travel 22.15 miles east from Christiansburg to downtown Salem. U.S. 11 south follows Roanoke Street west with U.S. 460 Business from Exit 118C to the intersection of Main and Franklin Streets in downtown Christiansburg. Photo taken 12/30/08.
One quarter mile east of the Exit 118C ramp departure to U.S. 11, U.S. 460 east, and U.S. 460 Business west (Roanoke Street). Auto dealerships, big box hotels, and fast food chains line Roanoke Street west from Interstate 81 to the U.S. 460 freeway. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 continues with six overall lanes between the Exit 118 c/d roadway system. U.S. 460 follows the c/d roadway to the Exit 118B/A full cloverleaf interchange in south Christiansburg. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 118B splits into separate ramps for the U.S. 460 freeway leading north to Blacksburg and a separate ramp to U.S. 11 & U.S. 460 BUsiness (Roanoke Street) east of the city center. Photo taken 12/30/08.
A look at the Exit 118B ramp split from Interstate 81 south. U.S. 460 originally traveled Franklin Street north from Christiansburg to Main Street in Blacksburg. The US route shifted to a freeway bypass of north Christiansburg initially in 1969, and south Christiansburg by 2001. The Christiansburg bypass was connected to the Blacksburg Bypass by 2003.2 Photo taken 12/30/08.
Exit 118A loops from the c/d roadway onto Parkway Drive south. Parkway Drive intersects the Falling Branch Road (SSR 640) before ending to the southwest. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 and the Exit 118 c/d roadway merge as the freeway continues west through Christiansburg. Interstate 81 was expanded to five overall lanes to coincide with the 2001 extension of the Christiansburg bypass. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Trailblazer sized reassurance marker posted for Interstate 81 south after the Exit 118 c/d roadway end. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Radford lies 12 miles to the east, followed by Interstate 77 near Wytheville. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Virginia 8 travels West Main Street from U.S. 11 (Radford Street) outside downtown Christiansburg to meet Interstate 81 at the Exit 114 diamond interchange. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Virginia 8 angles southeast to Riner, Floyd, Stuart, and the North Carolina line from Exit 114 and Christiansburg. The state route travels 55.89 miles from its beginning in Christiansburg to become North Carolina 8 south to New London. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Leaving Christiansburg, Interstate 81 travels nine miles west to Radford and 110 miles southwest to Bristol. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Virginia 117 begins at a diamond interchange (Exit 109) with Interstate 81 and travels 4.41 miles northwest to U.S. 11 in Radford. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Following Tyler Road, Virginia 177 constitutes a four-lane divided highway north into the indepdenent city of Radford, becoming Tyler Avenue at the county line. The state route ends at U.S. 11 at Radford University, east of the U.S. 11 New River bridge into Fairlawn. SSR 600 continues Tyler Road south to Childress. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Interstate 81 stays just south of the Radford city line, meeting Virginia 232 (1st Street) north at SSR 605 (Little River Road) ahead of the New River. Virginia 232 arcs northeast from Exit 105 through downtown Radford to end at U.S. 11 opposite Fairlawn. Photo taken 12/30/08.
Looking north from the New River span of Interstate 81 south of Radford. Photo taken 12/30/08.

  1. VA 301 to 320 @ Virginia Highways Project.
  2. US 460 @ Virginia Highways Project.

Photo Credits:

12/30/08 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. 220
Interstate 581
U.S. 11
U.S. 460

Page Updated 04-14-2010.