BRISTOL – In an effort to keep motorists informed, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provides weekly information about highway construction and maintenance projects in southwestern Virginia. When traveling through highway work zones, use caution and be alert to changes in traffic patterns and slow-moving or stopped traffic.
To help motorists take the guesswork out of travel plans, call VDOT’s 511 or visit http://www.511virginia.org for real-time traffic information.
Entries with asterisks (***) indicate the listing is new or the status of the project has changed since last week’s traffic alert.
***Exit 32 – safety project: A project to improve safety along a portion of Interstate 81 north and southbound at exit 32 in the Glade Spring area of Washington County is underway, creating the need to close a lane northbound through noon April 10 to allow crews to mill, pave and add guardrail at the location. During the northbound lane closure, the northbound off ramp at exit 32 is closed. Use caution in this area and be alert to the possibility of delays while improvements are being made. Once the northbound project is finished, crews will begin work southbound after the Easter holiday (April 12). (Completion: May 2020)
***Interstate 81 Exit 26 at Emory: A project to lengthen the acceleration/deceleration on southbound Interstate 81 exit 26 at Emory in Smyth County will begin after Easter (April 12). The first of two 56-hour lane closures will occur the week of April 13 to allow crews to remove the current shoulder down 18 inches and build it back to the current elevation. The majority of activities for the project will occur along VDOT’s right of way; however, motorists should be alert to workers and heavy equipment in the area. (Completion: late June 2020)
***Interstate 81 bridges at Atkins: A project to replace the Interstate 81 bridges near mile marker 52 in the Atkins area of Smyth County is underway. To ensure safety during a concrete pour in the median area, be alert to a southbound lane closure from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday (April 7 and 8). Be alert to lane shifts and nighttime lane closures on the interstate, as well periodic lane closures on Route 11. The speed limit in the work zone is 60 mph. (Completion: Fall 2022)
Interstate 81 – bridges over Reed Creek: Be alert to an altered traffic pattern on Interstate 81 at the bridges over Reed Creek in Wythe County due to replacement of the bridges. The travel lanes are restricted to two, 11-foot-wide lanes with left and right shoulder closures. The bridges are located about one-mile north of the I-77 split at I-81 exit 81. Be advised the speed limit through the work zone is 60 mph, and the northbound lanes are restricted to two, 11-foot-wide travel lanes with the left and right shoulders closed. Allow extra travel time and watch out for workers. (Completion: Fall 2021)
***Interstate 81 – bridges over Mulberry Lane: Due to the project to replace the Interstate 81 bridges over Route 686 (Mulberry Lane) in Smyth County near exit 50, there is a northbound lane closure through noon Friday (April 10). The closure will allow crews the opportunity to switch traffic to the newly constructed bridge in the median of I-81. I-81 is restricted to two, 11-foot-wide lanes in each direction and the left and right shoulders are closed. Additionally, Mulberry Lane is closed underneath the interstate. Pay close attention to detour signs directing traffic around the closed portion of Mulberry Lane. The speed limit through the work zone is 60 mph. Anticipate lane closures on I-81 during the overnight hours during construction. (Completion: Fall 2020)
***Interstates 81 maintenance activities: Be alert to workers along the shoulder of Interstate 77 this week performing maintenance activities such as debris removal. On Interstate 81, be alert to the following lane closures:
- A 24/7 lane closure through April 10 is in place on Interstate 81 southbound near exit 35 in the Chilhowie area due to bridge patching
- Daytime bridge deck repairs northbound between mile markers 66 and 68 in the Wytheville area of Wythe County
- Daytime bridge deck repairs northbound near mile marker 58 and southbound near exit 60 in Wythe County
- Nighttime bridge repairs northbound near exit 3 in Bristol Sunday night.
- Daytime lane closures between mile markers 42 and 47 in Smyth County due to guardrail work.
PRIMARY HIGHWAYS AND HIGH TRAFFIC SECONDARY ROADS:
Route 607 (Burton’s Pond Road): The Route 607 (Burton’s Pond Road) bridge over Kimberling Creek in Bland County is closed until June 10 to allow crews to replace the bridge. The bridge is located 1.5 miles from Route 606 (Wilderness Road) and 1.15 miles from Route 680 (Price Ridge Road). (Completion: June 2020)
***Slide Repairs: Due to recent flooding, be alert to the following slide repairs and the possibility of lane closures and flaggers directing traffic this week at the following locations in Buchanan County:
- Route 460: approximately one-mile west of Route 700 and 1.3 miles east of Route 645. (Completion: mid-April 2020)
- Route 643: located 1.6 miles south of the intersection of Route 650. (Completion: mid-April 2020)
Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A: A portion of Route 615 (Hoot Owl Street) in Buchanan County closed in late January and will remain closed until approximately late July. The closure will ensure safety during construction of a portion of the Route 460/121 Poplar Creek A construction project. The closure will be located on Route 615 between its intersection at Route 604 (Poplar Creek Rd.) and Dogpound Rd. Detour routes during the closure are Routes 604 (Poplar Creek Rd.) and 617 (Little Prater Rd.), or to Vansant via Route 83 (Lovers Gap Rd.).
Construction of Route 460/121 Poplar Creek Phase A is underway in Buchanan County. Impacts on motorists are minimal because the majority of the work is on a new location; however, the project has created a permanent change for Route 614 (Woods Fork). Poplar Creek Phase A will split a portion of Route 614 and cul-de-sacs will be added on either end of Route 614 where it ends at the new highway, approximately 2.75 miles from Route 609 at Bull Creek and 1.25 miles from Route 604 at Poplar Creek. Access to the north and south ends of Route 614 will be via Routes 609 (Bull Creek Road) and 604 (Poplar Creek Road), respectively, which connect to Route 460 west of Grundy.
Slide repairs: Due to recent flooding, portions of the following routes in Dickenson County are down to one lane or closed until repairs can be made in the coming months:
- Route 614 (Cow Path Road) is closed 0.15 mile south of Route 739 (Completion: April 2020)
- Route 605 (Sandlick River Road) has one lane closed 0.65 mile west of Buchanan County line. (Completion: early May 2020)
***Route 58 bridge over the Powell River: Due to replacement of the Route 58 bridge over the Powell River near Jonesville in Lee County, signals are controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. Use caution in this area and allow for slight travel delays. (Completion: fall 2021)
***Slide Repairs: Be alert to slide repairs along Route 638 in Scott County, closing the route at the intersection of Route 58 through April 1. Route 58 will not be affected by the closure. Pay close attention to signs directing motorists around the area. (Completion: Spring 2020)
Route 682: The Route 682 bridge over Copper Creek in Scott County is closed for replacement. Motorists should be alert to detour signs while the bridge replacement project is underway. (Completion: spring 2020)
Utility Installation: Be alert to utility installation work along Route 870 (Daniel Boone Road) and connecting secondary highways near Gate City. The project is near the quarry pond and will extend westward to Route 789 (Sarah Circle). (Completion: February 2021)
Route 600 (Fairview Road): Be alert to water installation work and lane closures on Route 600 (Fairview Road) and connecting secondary routes in Scott County. (Completion: Fall 2020)
Utility Projects – various locations: Anticipate lane closures during daylight hours due to power line installation along U.S. Route 23 between Route 600 (Fairview Road) and Route 625 (Angler’s Way). (Completion: Summer 2020)
Route 23 bridge replacement at Weber City: Due to replacement of the Route 23 bridges over North Fork Holston River in the Weber City area of Scott County, motorists can expect one-lane traffic and a 12-foot-width restriction in each direction. The speed limit in the work zone is 35 mph. (Completion: winter/spring 2020)
***Slide Repairs: Due to recent flooding, be alert to slide repairs on Route 624 (Amonate Road) in Tazewell County, just south of the intersection of Route 643. Be alert to lane closures and flaggers in these areas until repairs are complete. (Completion: mid-April 2020)
***Route 23 - Slide Repairs: Due to extensive slide repairs along a portion of Route 23 southbound in Wise County, traffic is being detoured onto Route 823 (Old Indian Creek Road) in the Glamorgan area. Motorists are advised to use caution in this area and be alert to signage directing traffic through the detour. (Completion: April 2020)
Route 68 (Exeter Road): Delays during daylight hours are possible on Route 68 (Exeter Road) near Appalachia due to a sewer line installation project. (Completion: Summer 2020)
Interstate 81 bridge work at exit 19: Bridge work on Interstate 81 northbound at exit 19 in Abingdon (Washington County), be alert to overnight lane closures on I-81 and the possibility of daytime lane closures on Route 11 beneath the interstate bridge. Pay close attention to signs and message boards. (Completion: late March 2020)
Weigh stations temporarily converted to rest areas for commercial drivers Troutville weigh station in Botetourt County, Virginia RICHMOND - While all 13 motor carrier service centers (weigh stations) are temporarily closed until at least April 23, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is supporting the trucking industry by offering weigh stations as additional rest areas to accommodate the increased number of commercial drivers working to deliver food and supplies in this critical time. “The trucking industry is a vital link in our country’s supply chain,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “During these unprecedented times, we are especially grateful to these men and women serving on the front lines, and we are proud to help in any way we can.” DMV is offering the use of 246 truck parking spaces at 10 weigh stations across the Commonwealth as rest parking for commercial drivers. The spaces are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until at least April 23. To make truckers aware of the service, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is partnering with DMV to place Portable Changeable Message Signs advertising the availability of truck parking. Weigh stations that are currently open as rest areas for commercial drivers include: Alberta (I- 81, mile marker 22), Bland (I-77, mile marker 52), Carson (I-95, mile marker 39), Dumfries (I-95, mile marker 154), Middletown (Rt. 11, across from the I-81 weigh station), New Church (Rt. 13, 2 miles south of the Maryland state line), Sandston (I-64, mile marker 203), Stephen City (I-81, mile marker 304), Suffolk (Rt. 58, 1 mile west of the Chesapeake city line), and Troutville (I-81, mile marker 149). “We recognize that these are unusual times for tractor trailer drivers hauling goods in Virginia and across the nation with the industry working around the clock to deliver food and emergency supplies to those who desperately need them,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “We applaud their efforts and are proud to offer a place of refuge in this critical time.” In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted an extension on the validity of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and commercial learner’s permits (CLP) that expire between March 1, 2020, and June 29, 2020. Any CDLs or CLPs set to expire during this time and any CDL medical certificate valid for 90 days or more that is due to expire on or after March 1, 2020, will be extended to June 30, 2020. To further assist commercial drivers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended for 180 days hazardous materials endorsements that expire between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. DMV has also notified administrators of the International Registration Plan (IRP) that Virginia’s waiver of registration and licensing requirements for motor carriers and a waiver of normal weight and width restriction in response to the pandemic COVID-19 emergency has been extended until May 19, 2020. To find out more information specific to CDL holders, visit dmvNOW.com/COVID19.
As COVID-19 concerns keep many at home, one industry Americans use everyday is starting to see price drops not felt since the beginning of the 21st century.Drivers heading to the gas pump could start seeing costs dramatically drop in the coming days and weeks, including a report from Gas Buddy that prices have dropped below the dollar mark in a gas station out of Kentucky. Locally, Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia gas stations are steadily falling to below $2 per gallon, with the lowest prices being reported at some stations in the Kingsport area.
A check of gas prices across the region can be found here
An Appalachia Virginia Man Has Been Sentenced In Wise County Circuit Court To More Than Two Years Behind Bars For Stealing A Car, Running From Police And Driving Under The Influence Of Meth. 19 Year Old Brendon Hill Is Convicted Of Grand Larceny Of An Automobile, Felony Eluding And Multiple Other Charges In The Incident That Happened In Early 2019. He Will Be Required To Complete Ten Years Probation After He Completes His Sentence.
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Norton 911 Dispatch Center started receiving 911 Calls in reference to a motor vehicle crash that had occurred at the intersection of Park Avenue/7th Street N.W. involving a traffic signal. Norton First Responders were dispatched to the scene which includes Rescue, Fire and Police. When Officers arrived on scene they discovered that it was a single motor vehicle crash in which the vehicle involved had been traveling West on Park Avenue at a high rate of speed, left the road way, struck a small tree, trash can and then one of the traffic signal poles that controls part of the traffic at that intersection. The driver of the vehicle was identified to be 39 years of age, Ms. Clarissa Renee Kern of Norton Virginia. There was a juvenile passenger in the vehicle. The vehicle was a 2003 Toyota SUV. Ms. Clarissa was arrested and charged with DUID (Class 1 Misdemeanor) and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle (Class 3 Misdemeanor).