Interstate 81 auxiliary lane project in Staunton area begins with closure of Route 635 overpass bridge

I-81 speed limit reduced to 60 miles an hour

View of I-81 Southbound Acceleration Lane from Route 635 Bridge
I-81 Southbound Traffic Passing Under Route 635 Bridge

STAUNTON — The Route 635 (Barterbrook Road) bridge over Interstate 81 located south of exit 221 is scheduled to close for bridge replacement. Route 635 at the bridge will close during the week of November 27, 2023, and remain closed for approximately 18 months. This location is in the Staunton area of Augusta County. The closure is part of a project to construct an I-81 southbound auxiliary lane between exit 221 (I-64 junction) and exit 220 (Route 262).

Beginning the week of November 20, 2023, VDOT will implement a work-zone speed limit of 60 miles per hour on I-81. The northbound and southbound speed limit reduction will be in place between mile marker 220 and 221.5. The 60 mile-per-hour speed limit will remain in place for the duration of the auxiliary lane project.

The southbound auxiliary lane will connect the I-81 exit 221 on-ramp with the exit 220 off-ramp, creating an additional lane and providing additional space for merging and exiting traffic. The existing Route 635 bridge piers do not allow adequate room for the additional lane and shoulder, or for any future widening of I-81. The new bridge will be built in the same location to reduce project cost and duration.

During the bridge replacement, Route 635 will be closed to through traffic between Route 644 (Frontier Drive) and Route 608 (Tinkling Spring Road). Route 635 traffic will use a roughly 13-mile detour as follows:

  • West of the bridge (Staunton side), drivers will go west on Route 635, south on Route 11 (Greenville Avenue/Lee-Jackson Highway), south on Route 262 (Woodrow Wilson Parkway), north on I-81, east on I-64 to exit 91 (Fishersville), south on Route 285/608, and then west on Route 635 to the end of the detour.
  • East of the bridge (Fishersville side), drivers will go east on Route 635, north on Route 608/285, west on I-64, south on I-81 to exit 220 (Staunton), north on Route 262 (Woodrow Wilson Parkway), north on Route 11 (Lee-Jackson Highway/Greenville Avenue), and then east on Route 635 to the end of the detour.

On October 18, 2023, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $7,729,415 construction contract to Fairfield-Echols LLC of Fishersville, Va. This project has a contract completion date of October 2025.

The project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program (CIP), which aims to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor in Virginia. Additional information about the program is at Improve81.vdot.virginia.gov.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Obtain traffic alerts and traveler information by dialing 511 or visiting 511Virginia.org. For other assistance, call the VDOT Customer Service Center, available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. Citizens can dial 1-800-FOR- ROAD (1-800-367-7623) from anywhere in the state to report road hazards, ask transportation questions, or get information related to Virginia’s roads.

The VDOT Staunton District is on Facebook and Twitter. Follow VDOT statewide accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. The VDOT Web page is https://vdot.virginia.gov.

Last updated: July 19, 2024

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