SALEM — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will hold a citizen information meeting to gather public input on the environmental study being conducted for Interstate 81 in the Roanoke and New River valleys. VDOT launched the Tier 2 Environmental Assessment of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Study for the section of I-81 between exit 118 (Christiansburg) and exit 143 (Roanoke) last fall, but in April 2013 added an addition seven miles to extend the study from exit 143 north to exit 150 (Troutville).
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Lord Botetourt High School, 1435 Roanoke Road, in Daleville. The meeting is being held to provide an opportunity for citizens and organizations to give VDOT comments or suggestions on the proposed project and the scope of issues to be addressed in the environmental study. The meeting will be held in an open-house format with no formal presentation given. VDOT representatives will be present to discuss the study and to answer questions.
Comments about the study may be submitted at the meeting or until July 6, 2013, by mailing them to Ms. Angel Deem, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Comments can also be emailed to Angel.Deem@VDOT.Virginia.gov. Please reference “I-81 Tier 2 EA” in the subject line.
Anyone requiring special assistance to attend and participate in this meeting may contact Patrick Hughes at 804-371-6839, 800-367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711.
Based on traffic analysis associated with the Tier 2 document, VDOT determined that the traffic and ramp volumes and commuting patterns along the seven-mile portion of I-81 between exit 143 and exit 150 represent a more logical breakpoint that is consistent with the original study section between exit 143 and exit 118. Therefore, VDOT expanded the study area to include the additional seven miles north to exit 150. VDOT held two previous citizen information meetings for the Tier 2 Environmental Assessment in early February in Christiansburg and Salem.
The environmental study is the next required step before a widening project along the study area can be designed and constructed. The proposed widening project would involve the construction of no more than two general purpose lanes in each direction, where needed, to address future traffic demands for this section of I-81. VDOT is completing the Environmental Assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.