VDOT says the expanded Park and Ride lot at Thompson Memorial Drive and I-81 will open most of its newly-built spaces tomorrow. The number of available spaces has been significantly reduced during construction. VDOT says some of the spaces will remain blocked off until the work is finished next month, but most will now be available.

From VDOT: Commuters who use the Interstate 81 park and ride facility off exit 140 (Salem) will have additional parking available starting on Wednesday, October 25, as part of approximately $4 million in improvements to expand the lot and provide pedestrian accommodations.

The number of parking spaces at the park and ride lot has been reduced since spring due to a construction project to expand the facility. The project entailed providing more parking spaces, adding more sidewalk and installing safety features to serve pedestrians.

Starting on Wednesday, most of the lot’s 239 expanded parking spaces along with eight handicapped spaces and nine motorcycle spots will be available for commuters.  However, work on the project will not be completed until sometime in November, so some parking spots will be blocked off with cones as the remaining work is finished.

The original park and ride facility at exit 140 was initially constructed in late 1970s and was expanded in 2010 using temporary pavement.  Even with the expansion, the lot only had about 112 parking spaces.

Use of the facility has increased in years past because it serves as a stop for the Smart Way Connector bus that provides service from the New River Valley to Roanoke.

Because of stormwater management regulations, the Virginia Department of Transportation chose to use pervious concrete pavement and a specialized drainage system that creates less run off to maximize the use of the available land for the park and ride expansion.  This is the first time that VDOT has used pervious concrete pavement in Virginia.