Overnight traffic delays on I-81 in Harrisonburg March 18 – 21 for bridge work

Related Closures on Eastbound Route 33 and Entrance Ramps to I-81

Route 33 Bridge Construction
Route 33 Bridge Construction

STAUNTON – Placement of bridge beams will require overnight closures on Interstate 81 and eastbound Route 33 (Market Street) in Harrisonburg as part of the ongoing bridge and interchange project at exit 247. Traffic restrictions are scheduled from Monday through Thursday nights, March 18-21, into the early morning hours of Friday, March 22. Motorists should expect significant delays during this time period.

Virginia State Police will guide a series of slow-roll closures (also called rolling roadblocks) on I-81 in the Harrisonburg area between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Details are as follows:

  • Monday and Tuesday nights (March 18-19), slow-roll closures will be in place for northbound I-81 starting at mile marker 241.6 and southbound I-81 starting at mile marker 253. There will be temporary closures of the northbound I-81 entrance ramps at exit 243 (Route 11 south), exit 245 (Port Republic Road) and exit 247 (Route 33), and the southbound I-81 entrance ramp at exit 251 (Route 11 north).
  • Wednesday and Thursday nights (March 20-21), slow-roll closures will be in place for northbound I-81 starting at mile marker 241.6. There will be temporary closures of the northbound I-81 entrance ramps at exit 243, exit 245 and exit 247.

A slow roll creates a traffic gap by reducing approaching vehicle speeds to as low as 10 mph. This gap allows large cranes to place multi-ton steel beams without vehicles traveling beneath them. Traffic may also be temporarily stopped and held by a lead vehicle in each lane.  A slow roll operation typically lasts no more than 15 minutes at a time.

Due to equipment staging for the bridge work, eastbound Route 33 will be closed to through traffic at the I-81 exit 247 interchange from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights (March 18-21). Eastbound Route 33 drivers will detour using Carlton Street to Reservoir Street, Evelyn Byrd Avenue and then Burgess Road back to Route 33. The entrance ramp from eastbound Route 33 to southbound I-81 will remain open.

All work is weather permitting, and the schedule is subject to change. The Virginia Department of Transportation will provide updates as needed.

VDOT contractors are replacing the two Route 33 bridges over I-81 at exit 247 and the two railway bridges just west of the interchange. The project also includes several improvements to the exit 247 interchange. A work-zone speed limit of 25 miles an hour is in place on Route 33 for the duration of the project, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2026. Additional information is available on the VDOT project page.

In July 2022 a $43.3 million contract was awarded to Triton Construction Inc. of Virginia, headquartered in St. Albans, W.Va.

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 at https://vdot.virginia.gov/.

Last updated: July 19, 2024

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