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I-81 Widening | Mile Marker 141 – 143

Roanoke County, VA

Branch was the Lead Contractor for this project that added an additional lane along Northbound (NB) and Southbound (SB) I-81 between Exit 141 (Salem) and Exit 143 (Roanoke) in Roanoke County. Adding additional lanes to the median and outside in both directions alleviates congestion and provides for safer traffic movements along this stretch of I-81, which has heavy truck volumes. The new NB lane begins near the Exit 141 on-ramp and continues with the I-81 NB right lane and transitions to become the Exit 143 off-ramp onto I-581. The new SB lane extends the Exit 143 on-ramp and terminates near Exit 141.

This project involved inside and outside widening for the added lanes along I-81, a heavily traveled interstate where nearly 70,000 vehicles pass through each day. The scope of work included extensive maintenance of traffic (MOT) operations with multiple traffic shifts, shoulder strengthening, stormwater management, signage and lighting, and environmental construction and management, including the installation of noise barriers and bio-retention facilities. The project also included a completion milestone to expedite traffic opening onto the new lanes before the Christmas holiday of 2021.

Branch has a long history of partnering with VDOT to provide unique solutions to ensure that each project constructed is built safely on time and within budget. One example of this is this project included a unique element of the installation of more than one mile of bio-retention dry swales in the median of I-81. This recent technique for stormwater treatment was designated in the design to be constructed near the end of the project.

Virginia Department of Transportation