As directed in Senate Bill 971 (now 2018 Acts of Assembly Chapter 743), an Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI) and consultant study team will create a “I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan” to identify targeted improvements along I-81 and potential revenue sources that could be dedicated to improvements. State DOT officials hosted the second of three public meetings in our region for the “I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan” on August 23, from 4:00 – 7:00 PM, at the Blue Ridge Community College Plecker Center. To view meeting materials please visit the I-81 Study webpage at: http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/projects/major_projects/i-81_study.asp
AUGUST MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Following the June public information meetings, the I-81 study team used a combination of feedback from over 1000 public comments and data-driven analysis to develop potential infrastructure and operational solutions to solve safety, congestion, and resiliency issues on the I-81 corridor. State DOT officials presented a set of short and long-term operational and infrastructure improvements. The study team reviewed a series of maps with targeted improvement areas and shared research on potential ways that these “project packages” can be funded.
The short-term recommendations included the addition of changeable message signs and traffic cameras, expansion of safety service patrols, detour routes and improvements to parallel facilities, contract emergency clearance, and truck parking enhancements. Long-term recommendations such as directional widening, auxiliary lanes, truck climbing lanes, or other ramp improvements were focused on corridor segments with the highest incident-related delay and crash hotspots.
Various funding proposals were released for public feedback to consider some combination of truck tolling and the creation of an I-81 transportation authority.
In October, the study team will release the feasibility and economic development impacts from tolling heavy commercial truck traffic. The public is invited to provide verbal or written comments on the second phase of the study by September 30, 2018. One more public meeting will be held in the future as the study unfolds.
PUBLIC COMMENT RESOURCES
- Email VA81CorridorPlan@OIPI.Virginia.gov
- Call 804-786-2971
- An online, location-specific map is also available for those who cannot attend an in-person meeting.
October 17, 2018, 4:00- 7:00 PM - Joint Fall Transportation Meeting and I-81 Corridor Plan Public Meetings:
- Improvement recommendation packages and economic impact of tolling
- Location: Blue Ridge Community College, Plecker Center for Continuing Education, One College Lane, Weyers Cave, VA 24486