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VDOT looks for public input on I-81 widening project in Harrisonburg

I-81 Harrisonburg Widening Project
I-81 Harrisonburg Widening Project(VDOT)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - VDOT is working on plans to widen I-81 to three lanes, both north and southbound, from Exit 243 to 247.

“The Interstate Corridor Improvement Program has dozens of projects, but this is certainly one of our biggest,” Ken Slack, Communications Specialist for VDOT Staunton District, said. “We do see a lot of congestion and a fair number of accidents in the Harrisonburg area.”

VDOT is accepting public comment on the project through the end of Friday.

So far, some people have said they would like this to be an even bigger project, extending the three lanes to the north and south of Harrisonburg as much as possible.

Others are hoping to minimize the noise of traffic with construction of sound walls.

“We have some concerns about the interchanges and making sure that we’re making interchange design improvements,” Slack said.

There are plans to improve the 247 interchange as part of a separate project.

Those comments will be considered in a more detailed design, which will be shown at a public hearing next year in the spring or summer.

“We’re trying our best to make sure we go out to the public several times throughout this process because we know that this is going to be a big impact on people’s lives, during construction, of course, because there will be a lot of activity for probably a good four years,” Slack said. “But also the finish product needs to be something that is going to meet the transportation needs for the Harrisonburg area for decades to come.”

You can submit your comments about the project and learn more about all that VDOT has planned by going to their website or Improve81.org, signing up for newsletters and tuning into podcasts and videos they create to inform the public.

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