News Item Details

VDOT I-81 S-Curve Project Meeting

February 5, 2019

SALEM — Due to possible inclement weather, the Virginia Department Transportation will reschedule a public hearing that was previously to be held on Tuesday, January 29. The new hearing date will be Tuesday, February 5.

The public hearing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Buchanan Elementary School located at 255 School House Road in Buchanan. The design public hearing will be held on a project to improve safety along southbound I-81 between mile markers 167.4 and 169.5 in Botetourt County.

The hearing is being held to provide an opportunity for citizens or organizations to give input on the project and will be held in an “open-house” format. VDOT representatives will be present to discuss the project and answer questions.

The project entails implementing safety improvements along southbound I-81. These improvements include widening the shoulders on two curves, applying a treatment to increase pavement friction on the shoulders and travel lanes and installing enhanced pavement markings.

VDOT has implemented similar safety measures in this area in both directions on I-81, which have contributed to lowering the crash rate in the northbound direction by 55 percent. However, the crash rate in the southbound direction has only been reduced by 18 percent, so additional improvements are being considered.

The project also includes the closure and removal of the southbound off ramp at Exit 167 (Buchanan) to reduce speed differentials, conflict points and lane changes associated with exiting vehicles.

VDOT has also revised the cut-off date for comments. Comments about the project may be submitted at the hearing or until February 15, 2019, to Mr. Kelly Dunn, P.E., Project Manager, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem, VA 24153. Comments also can be emailed to Please reference “I-81 S-Curve Safety Improvements–Botetourt County” in the subject heading.

Anyone requiring special assistance to attend and participate in this meeting may contact Kelly Dunn at 540-387-5353, 800-367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711.