Slow rolls continue on I-81 near Harrisonburg – for two different bridge projects

Overnight “slow roll” closures continue on Interstate 81 in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County due to bridge demolition work

Route 33 Bridges
Route 33 Bridge Construction

STAUNTON – Overnight “slow roll” closures continue on Interstate 81 in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County due to bridge demolition work. The brief closures take place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday to Thursday nights though the end of March. There also will be occasional on- or off-ramp closures at I-81 interchanges in the area.

Since late January, I-81 slow rolls have allowed a contractor for the Virginia Department of Transportation to remove the Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) bridge near mile marker 248.8. The same contractor, Triton Construction Inc. of Virginia, is scheduled to begin partial demolition of the eastbound and westbound Route 33 (East Market Street) bridges over I-81 at exit 247 in Harrisonburg. The two projects are about 1.3 miles apart.

Demolition work transitions from the Route 720 bridge to the Route 33 bridges in late February or early March, but I-81 traffic control will not change. Overnight slow rolls are scheduled for 15 minutes or less, and take place in only one direction each night. During slow-roll operations, law enforcement will block I-81 on-ramps at exits 240, 243, 245, 247 and 251. These interchanges are between Mount Crawford and the north end of Harrisonburg.

There also will be single-lane closures on I-81 northbound and southbound through the Harrisonburg area, Monday through Thursday nights from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. through the end of March. When the I-81 right lane is closed in the area of an interchange, the on- or off-ramps will also be closed and posted detour routes will be in place.

Partial demolition of the Route 33 bridges is an early step in the project to construct a new bridge over I-81. The new bridge will carry eastbound and westbound Route 33 traffic. During most phases of construction, there will be two travel lanes of Route 33 open in each direction. The current work zone speed limit is 25 miles an hour.

The Route 33 project includes replacement of the eastbound and westbound bridges over Norfolk Southern railway, and a partial reconstruction of the I-81 exit 247 interchange. Additional information about the Route 33 project is found on the VDOT project page at

Route 720 is closed through fall 2023 in the area of the I-81 bridge replacement project. Route 720 drivers follow a posted detour. Route F-238 (Buffalo Drive) temporarily closes during some phases of construction. Buffalo Drive will be signed, "Road Closed to Through Traffic" at the Route 724 (Trinity Church Road) intersection.

Additional information about the Route 720 project is found at

All work is weather permitting.

For updated traffic alerts and traveler information, dial 511 or visit

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile friendly website at Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

The VDOT Staunton District is on Facebook and Twitter. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at

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


Last updated: July 19, 2024

Alert Icon

Please note that this file is not ADA compliant. Choose one of below options: