VDOT says Interstate 81 is open once again between Dixie Caverns and Christiansburg. The closure created lengthy backups Thursday both on southbound 81 and on the 14-mile detour along US 11/460. The southbound lanes reopened about 48 hours after concerns surrounding unstable ground on a slope above the roadway led to the closure.
(Continue reading for the full VDOT news release.)
TRAFFIC ALERT: SOUTHBOUND INTERSTATE 81 IN
MONTGOMERY COUNTY IS OPEN TO TRAFFIC
SALEM – Both lanes of southbound Interstate 81 between mile markers 120 and 125 in Montgomery County near Blacksburg, Va., are open to traffic. The lanes reopened before 5 p.m.
The contractor has removed enough of the unstable material to get the slope to the condition where it is safe to reopen southbound I-81. Crews will continue to work to remove additional material in the days ahead.
On Tuesday, Aug. 27, southbound I-81 traffic was detoured off the interstate and onto Route 11/460 due to the unstable slope. During a scheduled blast on Monday, Aug. 26, an existing crack the slope increased from approximately 50 feet to 120 feet in length. Geotechnical specialists reviewed the slope, and VDOT in the interest of public safety decided to close southbound Interstate 81.
Work on the truck climbing lane project is expected to be completed in November 2013. For traffic information and updates, visit www.511Virginia.org.