Program Overview

The I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is innovative, targeted improvements that will have a substantial effect on the safety and reliability of a critical portion of our nation's infrastructure.

As a critical north-south backbone of the East Coast’s freight network, the I-81 corridor is vital to the efficient movement of goods through Virginia. More than one-third of all trucks and nearly 50% of the state’s value of goods are transported along the 325-mile corridor. I-81 has the highest per capita truck volume in Virginia.

Within Virginia, I-81 connects 30 colleges and universities, 21 cities and towns and 13 counties, and parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway making this program critical to supporting job growth and economic vitality while reducing congestion, enhancing safety and reliability, and improving quality of life for everyone in our region.

11.7M trucks/year, $312B goods/year, 42% of statewide interstate truck VMT


How the program developed

Graphic showing program history: April - December 2018 The Program began with a corridor study completed by Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation. December 2018 CTB approves I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan identifying $2 billion of projects for the corrido


What are the Program Improvements?

The 325-mile corridor spans across three VDOT districts: Bristol, Salem, and Staunton.

Localities along the corridor include:

Counties: Augusta, Botetourt, Frederick, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Smyth, Washington,  and Wythe
Cities: Bristol, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Staunton, and Winchester

There are 65 total program improvements that will consist of both operational and capital improvements. Some of these projects include additional traffic cameras to detect incidents, changeable message signs, lane extensions, curve improvements, as well as adding or widening lanes in some sections of the corridor.

For more details on specific program improvements, please visit the Planned Improvements page, Work Underway page or Work Completed page.

Bills Authorizing I-81 Corridor Improvement Program and Fund


In 2019 the General Assembly adopted legislation creating the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund. Revenues supporting the fund and improvements were identified from the following sources:

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Regional fuels tax

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Interstate Operations and Enhancement Program*

*I-81 receives a percentage of the Interstate Operations and Enhancement Program based on the ratio of vehicle miles traveled by Class 6 vehicles.

More information about funding resources is available in the July 2022 I-81 CIP Financial Update.

Last updated: March 19, 2024

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