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VDOT sets public hearing for I-81 southbound auxiliary lane in Augusta County

Interstate 81
Interstate 81(Source: WDBJ)
Published: May. 24, 2021 at 2:01 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a design public hearing for the I-81 southbound auxiliary lane project in Augusta County. The project includes replacement of the Route 635 (Barterbrook Road) bridge over Interstate 81.

According to VDOT, the proposed auxiliary lane would extend from the I-81 southbound on-ramp from I-64 westbound at exit 221 to the I-81 southbound off-ramp to Route 262 (Woodrow Wilson Parkway) at exit 220.

VDOT says the 0.2-mile auxiliary lane would enhance safety and reduce congestion on southbound I-81 by allowing drivers additional time to speed up or slow down when merging on or off the interstate.

Representatives from VDOT add that existing Route 635 bridge piers do not allow adequate room for the auxiliary lane and shoulder, or for any future widening of I-81. The new bridge would be built in the same location to reduce project cost and duration.

Part of Route 635 would be closed for about 18 months during construction. Route 635 traffic would follow a roughly 13-mile detour.

They say the total estimated cost for the auxiliary lane project is $14.3 million, including $1.1 million for preliminary engineering, $597,000 for right of way and $12.6 million for construction.

The project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program which aims to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor.

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, according to the VDOT press release.

The meeting will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, at the Frontier Culture Museum, 1290 Richmond Ave., Staunton, Virginia 24401. To learn more about the project, click here.

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