UPDATE: Crashes cleared on I-81; moderate to heavy traffic still expected through tonight

Roanoke Valley News

(Photo: Courtesy MGN)

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: The final crash on I-81 that we’ve been following has been cleared.

Drivers can still expect moderate to heavy traffic on area roadways as people continue heading home from the long Thanksgiving weekend. Expect delays due to that heavier traffic no matter where you are heading.

Give yourself plenty of time, leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you and do not drive distracted.


UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Here’s an update on the one crash we’re still following on I-81.

It involves multiple vehicles at mile marker 187.2 on I-81 south where the left shoulder is closed.

Backups are reported to be around two miles.


UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: The crash on I-81 north in Pulaski County has been cleared.


UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: We’ve got additional crashes that have been reported while others have been cleared.

Here’s the latest list:

  • I-81 North at mile marker 91 in Pulaski County has backups reported at approximately four miles.
  • (NEW) I-81 North at mile marker 187.2 in Rockbridge County has backups of approximately two miles.

The crash on I-77 South at the East River Mountain Tunnel in Bland County has been cleared.

The crash on I-81 North at mile marker 63.6 has been cleared.


UPDATE 3:10 p.m.: Four crashes on area interstates have reverted back to three after one of those crashes was cleared.

Here’s the latest update on active crashes in the area:

  • I-81 North at mile marker 63.6 in Wythe County. The NB right shoulder is closed for a crash. No backups are being reported.
  • I-81 North at mile marker 91 in Pulaski County. No lanes are closed; however, VDOT is reporting backups of around 6.5 miles behind a crash.
  • I-77 South at the East River Mountain Tunnel in Bland County. The left lane and right lane are both closed due to a crash. VDOT is not reporting a backup here at the current time.

The crash on I-81 SB in Botetourt County at mile marker 162.5 has been cleared.


UPDATE 3:00 p.m.: We continue following several crashes on area interstates.

Here are the latest updates:

  • I-81 North at mile marker 63.6 in Wythe County. The NB right shoulder is closed for a crash. No backups are being reported.
  • I-81 North at mile marker 91 in Pulaski County. No lanes are closed; however, VDOT is reporting backups of around 6.5 miles behind a crash.
  • I-81 South at mile marker 162.5 in Botetourt County. The right shoulder is closed for a crash. VDOT says backups are approximately two miles.
  • I-77 South at the East River Mountain Tunnel. The left lane and right lane are both closed due to a crash. VDOT is not reporting a backup here at the current time.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: VDOT is reporting three new crashes on I-81 – one in Pulaski County, one in Wythe County and one in Botetourt County.

According to VDOT, the crash in Pulaski County is on the northbound side of I-81 at mile marker 91.

Here, the northbound right lane and right shoulder are closed.

Backups are reported to be around five miles.

Also, a crash on I-81 north in Wythe County is at mile marker 63.6 where the northbound left shoulder and left lane are closed due to a multi-vehicle crash.

VDOT is not showing any backlogs in this area due to the crash.

Also, a multi-vehicle crash at mile marker 162.5 in Botetourt County is on the southbound side of I-81. The left shoulder and left lane are closed in this area.

Traffic is heavy across the area on all major roadways. Expect delays.

UPDATE 12:55 p.m. The final crash on I-81 north at mile marker 169.4 has been cleared in Botetourt County County.


UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: One crash remains on I-81 in Botetourt County.

VDOT says the crash at mile marker 163.4 on I-81 north has been cleared.

The last remaining crash, from the original three, is at mile marker 169.4 on I-81 north where backups of around 1.5 miles remain.

Drivers can expect moderate-to-heavy traffic to continue along I-81 as well as other interstates in the region due to drivers heading home from the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.


UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: One of the three crashes in Botetourt County has been cleared.

The initial crash at mile marker 165 of I-81 south has been cleared and traffic is again flowing here.

Elsewhere, the crash on I-81 north at mile marker 169.4 is causing around three mile backlogs.

The crash at mile marker 163.4 of I-81 north is causing backups of around 4.5 miles.


UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: Three crashes continue plaguing drivers on I-81 in Botetourt County.

  • I-81 North at mile marker 163.4 involves a tractor-trailer. The NB right shoulder is closed. Backups are reported at nearly four miles.
  • I-81 South at mile marker 165 involves multiple vehicles. The SB right shoulder is closed. Backups are reported at around 2.5 miles.
  • I-81 North at mile marker 169.4 involves multiple vehicles. The NB left shoulder and left lane are closed. Backups are reported at nearly three miles.

UPDATE 11:05 a.m.: There are now three crashes causing problems along I-81.

  • I-81 North at mile marker 163.4 involves a tractor-trailer. The NB left shoulder and left lane are closed. Backups are reported at nearly two miles.
  • I-81 South at mile marker 165 involves multiple vehicles. The SB right shoulder is closed. Backups are reported at nearly three miles.
  • I-81 North at mile marker 169.4 involves multiple vehicles. The NB left shoulder and left lane are closed. Backups are reported at nearly three miles.

UPDATE 10:50 a.m.: We are now being told of a new crash that is creating issues for drivers on I-81.

This new crash is at mile marker 169.4, north of Buchanan and involves multiple vehicles on the northbound side.

The north left shoulder and left lane are both closed in this area.

The other crash at mile marker 165 and also involves multiple vehicles.

Backups here are reported to be around three miles.

Area roadways are more congested today as more people are heading home from a long Thanksgiving holiday. Drivers can expect delays with more vehicles on the road. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you and do not drive distracted.


UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: Vehicles involved in the multi-vehicle crash in Botetourt County, south of Buchanan have been moved to the right shoulder.

Both travel lanes of I-81 south at mile marker 165 are again moving; however, backups are reported to be around two miles.

Delays can be expected in this area.


BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – A multi-vehicle crash on a section of I-81 south in Botetourt County is creating issues for drivers.

The crash is located at mile marker 165, south of Buchanan.

A VDOT camera indicates at least five vehicles are involved.

The left shoulder and left lane are closed in this area. Traffic is partially using the shoulder to get by.

Drivers can expect delays if heading in this direction.

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