Big Changes Proposed for I-81 in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Transportation is proposing $2 billion worth of changes to Interstate 81 in Roanoke.
October 28, 2018, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jeff Sturgeon reports on the details of a $2 billion project to overhaul Interstate 81 in Roanoke. The Virginia Department of Transportation VDOT) is touting the 22 total capital projects as benefitting travel times and safety on the corridor. "A new northbound lane between Christiansburg and Interstate 581 in Roanoke County would be the largest project constructed in the area," reports Sturgeon.

VDOT will pay for the plan with a combination of new funding mechanisms. To pay for the projects, a draft financing proposal recommends an increase in the retail sales and use tax and the motor fuels tax from Bristol to Winchester. The draft proposal also foresees tolls — but not toll booths. Toll electronics on overhead mounts at six locations about 55 miles apart would assess money from trucks and automobiles.

VDOT planners are currently undertaking a public engagement tour in the Roanoke to gather feedback to the plan. David McGee reported from an earlier round of public hearings on the plan, held this summer.

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Published on Thursday, October 25, 2018 in The Roanoke Times
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