Blasting as part of the project to build a truck-climbing lane on southbound Interstate 81 between mile markers 120 and 125 in Montgomery County will require another daytime detour on Wednesday, July 18. For the past few weeks, traffic on I-81 during blasting has been controlled using rolling roadblocks instead of detouring southbound traffic.
The Virginia Department of Transportation had anticipated that the remainder of the blasting could be completed using rolling roadblocks instead of detouring traffic off southbound I-81 on Route 11/460.
However, an outcropping of rock unearthed during recent median blasting presents a possibility of debris sliding into the roadway. Because there is a chance of lengthy cleanup associated with this next blast, VDOT has decided to detour southbound I-81 traffic instead using the planned rolling roadblock. Northbound I-81 traffic will still be controlled using the rolling roadblock.
Weather permitting, blasting is scheduled on Wednesday, July 18 and will cause the following traffic impacts:
1) Southbound I-81 traffic will be detoured off I-81 at exit 132 (Dixie Caverns) onto Route 11/460 and back onto I-81 at exit 118 (Christiansburg). The detour will be implemented sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be removed immediately once slopes have been scaled and the road is deemed safe for the traveling public. State Police will assist with this detour. A right lane closure will be in place on westbound Route 11/460 during the detour.
2) On northbound I-81, a rolling road block starting at mile marker 114 sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. will be used to slow traffic. During blasting, the on-ramps will be restricted onto northbound Interstate 81 at exit 118 (Christiansburg) and onto southbound I-81 at exit 128 (Ironto).
3) Flaggers may control traffic on Route 636 (Seneca Hollow Road and Friendship Road) and on Route 641 (Den Hill Road) during blasting.