Lane closures on I-81 cause traffic delays this week

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 9:19 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ/VDOT Release) - Lane closures on southbound Interstate 81 at two locations are expected to create significant delays for drivers during the week starting December 5, according to VDOT.

The work will depend on weather, according to VDOT, and drivers should pay attention to message boards, expect delays and consider alternate routes.

The work is tentatively scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Monday, with a right lane closure on southbound I-81 at mile marker 138.4 in Roanoke County near Salem for repairs to the bridge over Route 635 (Goodwin Avenue). The lane will remain closed around the clock and is expected to reopen sometime before the morning commute Thursday, December 8.

VDOT says drivers between Roanoke and Christiansburg will be significantly impacted during this closure. Route 11/460 is available as an alternate route during the lane closure

This bridge is within the work zone for the I-81 widening project between exits 137 and 141 and was damaged when hit with a tractor-trailer. The repairs involve removing a section of damaged concrete, replacing reinforcing steel and pouring new concrete, according to VDOT.

The second location on southbound I-81 where drivers can expect delays is in Botetourt County, north of Roanoke, at mile marker 158. That project involves paving ramps and the shoulder at the Troutville Rest Area. A 24-hour right lane closure is tentatively scheduled Tuesday, December 6 from 6 p.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 7, and a 12-hour right lane closure is expected to be in place Thursday, December 8, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The rest area has been closed since May for a project to extend the ramps. The contractor is working to complete the remaining paving ahead of winter, according to VDOT, so the rest area can reopen before spring. If weather permits, the rest area will reopen by late December.

Travelers on southbound I-81, north of Lexington, who are headed to destinations south of Roanoke can consider rerouting to use Interstate 64 west to Interstate 77 south.

To get updates on these lane closures, visit