New towing and recovery incentive program offered along Interstate 81 corridor to clear commercial crashes more quickly

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RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – A new towing and recovery program is up and running along the entire stretch of the Interstate 81 corridor.

Virginia’s Towing and Recovery Incentive Program, launched by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), is applying an innovative solution that aims to help reduce the amount of time that drivers sit in crash-related congestion.

“Virginia’s economy takes a hit of up to $1,200 for every minute that drivers spend in traffic. Incidents are the number-one cause of congestion on I-81, so we can make a real improvement on that interstate by getting lanes reopened more rapidly.”

Stephen C. Brich, VDOT Commissioner

81 TRIP is an incentive program that partners VDOT with heavy-duty towing and recovery companies to standardize their response to commercial vehicle crashes. The program facilitates safe and quick clearance with improved towing standards, procedures and training.

This program is supported by VDOT, the Virginia State Police and members of the Virginia Statewide Traffic Incident Management (STIM) Committee to help lessen the impact of major traffic incidents while meeting aggressive clearance goals.

81 TRIP pays an incentive of between $2,500 to $3,500 to a tow company that is able to open a travel lane within 90 minutes of receiving notice to proceed from law enforcement on the scene.

Crash-related delays enact significant impacts on drivers and the environment and this program will work to help reduce lost-time costs, improve reliability and lessen the risk of secondary crashes that can occur in vehicle queues.

These types of incidences account for 20-percent of all highway crashes and become increasingly likely until congestion is cleared.

Locally-based towing and recovery companies were invited to participate in 81 TRIP. To be eligible, these companies must meet requirements to ensure only well-trained operators with proper heavy-duty equipment are dispatched to large commercial incidents.

81 TRIP is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018.

More than $2 billion of targeted improvements were funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam in the spring of 2019.

You can find more information about the I-81 Improvement Program by clicking here.

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