Expect delays and detours on I-81 and I-64 in Virginia on Thurs. & Fri.

Bridge work at night
Virginia Department of Transportation

If your trucking travels take you on Interstates 81 and/or 64 later this week, be prepared for traffic slowdowns anddetours.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said bridge work requires slow-roll closures Thursday night, Dec. 21, on southbound Interstate 81 and westbound I-64 in Augusta County near Staunton, which is located about 87 miles northeast of Roanoke. VDOT said Virginia State Police will manage the slow-roll closures, which will create traffic delays between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday night into early Friday morning.

The affected areas are southbound I-81 between exits 225 and 220, and westbound I-64 between exit 91 and the I-81 interchange. Motorists should be alert for temporary entrance-ramp closures during the slow-roll operations. Digital message signs will advise drivers of the traffic restrictions, according to a statement from VDOT.

A slow roll is a traffic management operation that creates a traffic gap by reducing approaching vehicle speeds to as low as 10 mph. This gap allows work to safely take place over travel lanes free of live traffic. Traffic can also be temporarily stopped and held by a lead vehicle in each lane.  A slow roll operation typically lasts no more than 15 minutes at a time. 

The Dec. 21 slow rolls allow contractors for VDOT to begin demolition and removal of the Route 635 (Barterbrook Road) overpass bridge. This bridge must be replaced as part of a project to construct a new auxiliary lane on southbound I-81 between exit 221 (I-64 junction) and exit 220 (Route 220 south).

In addition to the slow-roll closures, southbound I-81 motorists should be alert for single-lane closures Monday through Thursday nights (December 18-22) from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

All work is weather permitting.

Route 635 in the area of the bridge over I-81 is closed through mid-2025 due to the bridge replacement. Detour routes and information are on the VDOT project page.