Virtual public hearing set for Tuesday on widening section of I-81 in Roanoke County

Roanoke Valley News

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will be holding a virtual public hearing Tuesday evening to allow citizens the opportunity to voice thoughts and concerns over a project to widen a 5.1-mile section of I-81 between exits 137 and 141 in Roanoke County and Salem.

The hearing will be held between 5 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and can be accessed through the project page by clicking here and following the link for the virtual design public hearing.

The project’s $292 million price tag will provide additional capacity and improve safety by widening that section of I-81 from two lanes in both directions to three lanes in both directions.

New lanes will be built at locations along I-81’s right and left shoulders.

The project also includes replacing six bridges, widening two bridges and installing approximately 2.6 miles of sound barrier walls along northbound I-81.

Construction for the project is slated to begin later this year.

If you would like to submit a comment for the virtual meeting, you should use one of the following methods:

  • Complete the comment sheet at the bottom of the virtual design public hearing webpage;
  • Emailing questions or comments to Please reference “Interstate 81 Widening Virtual VDOT Design Hearing Public Comments” in the subject line;
  • Mail them to Mr. Craig Moore, PE, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem, VA 24153. All comments must be postmarked, emailed or submitted by Feb. 19.

Anyone requiring special assistance to provide input or ask additional questions may contact VDOT’s Salem District Office at (540) 387-5353, (800) 367-7623, or TTY/TDD 711.

The widening project is a part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in Dec. of 2018. The $2 billion package of targeted improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam in the Spring of 2019.

For more information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, click here.

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