RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) Plans to extend 13 miles of Interstate 81 in Roanoke and Botetourt counties among more than two dozen projects put forward by the Commonwealth Transport Board last week, in an effort to address safety and improve flow t busy highway traffic.
The action was carried out last week by the FTC, which put 31 projects to the Virginia six-year highway improvement program, designed to support the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program initiatives.
The most expensive project put forward by the FPP calls for the addition of one additional lane to Interstate 81 north and south passing between a 137 mile marker at Salem and a 150 marker near Daleville in Botetourt County. The construction of the additional lanes is estimated to cost in excess of $ 242 million.
Other projects in our region promoted by the FSP include the extension of on-and-off ramps in the counties of Rockbridge and Wythe, and the extension of the access ramps leading to a rest area to the north of Exit. 150 in Botetourt County. The combined cost of constructing these projects is expected to exceed $ 40 million.
With approval to proceed, VDOT hopes to develop a construction timeline next year.
Funding for the upgrade of Interstate 81 was secured through legislation during the 2019 General Assembly session, which requests an increase in trailer registration fees. Diesel tax law makers also increased to 2.03% of the average wholesale price across the state per gallon, with effect in July 2021.
“With new incomes available as a result of legislation passed in April this year, the FTC is committed to promoting and delivering these critical projects to those who rely on Interstate 81,” said Secretary. Shannon Shannon's transportation in a statement was released Monday. “Today's action is the first of a series of improvements that are expected to reduce the number of accidents along this corridor by 450 and one hour in excess of 6 million hours per hour. the years."
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