Bridge repairs in the work zone on northbound Interstate 81 in Roanoke County near Salem, Virginia are expected to create significant delays for drivers starting this weekend.
The Virginia Department of Transportation said motorists should pay attention to message boards, expect delays and consider alternate routes.
Tentatively scheduled to start on Sunday, July 16 at 6 p.m., a right lane closure will be in place on northbound I-81 at mile marker 137 for major repairs to the bridge over Route 635 (Goodwin Avenue) and the bridge over Route 619 (Academy Street). The lane will remain closed around the clock and is expected to reopen prior to the afternoon commute on Tuesday, July 18.
Drivers between Christiansburg and Roanoke will be significantly impacted during this closure, particularly during peak travel times. Heavy traffic is expected on Route 11/460 and on Main Street in Salem.
The damaged bridges are located within the work zone for the I-81 widening project between exits 137 and 141. Both bridges have been struck by tractor-trailers. The repairs involve removing damaged concrete, replacing reinforcing steel and pouring new concrete.
Flaggers may periodically control traffic on Goodwin Avenue and Academy Street beneath the bridges during the repairs.
Drivers between Christiansburg and Roanoke can consider using Route 11/460 as an alternate route during the lane closure. Travelers on northbound I-81 at Wytheville who are headed to destinations north of Roanoke can consider rerouting to use Interstate 77 north to Interstate 64 east.
To get updates on the lane closure, visit www.511Virginia.org.