Some good news for motorists that travel between Salem and Christiansburg on a daily basis, blasting associated with the widening of Interstate 81 along the southbound lanes is over.
Richard Caywood, the Salem District administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said as of Monday, blasting has been completed. “We might have to do some slow rolls because of bridge work, but for the most part, blasting detours are over,” he told the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. He appeared at the governmental body’s regularly scheduled meeting to update them on current road projects.
The $90 million project is to construct five miles of a truck climbing lane between mile markers 120 and 125. Three bridges will be replaced and several retaining walls still have to be constructed.
“Construction is 38 percent,” Caywood said. For the past eight months, motorists have had to deal with rolling roadblocks and detours to US 460 through Shawsville.
While the blasting detours are done, VDOT has announced some repaving plans for 460 with most of the work being at night.
The widening project should be completed by Spring 2014.
Caywood also told the board the Salem District is now second in current projects at $214 million, only behind Northern Virginia. “I believe shortly we will be #1 in that category,” he said.
Caywood also updated the board on construction of a new westbound bridge over the New River along Route 114. “That project is moving along quickly and we will be replacing the smaller bridge over the railroad tracks very shortly,” he said.
That project is estimated to cost $22.5 million and will replace a bridge that was damaged by a tractor trailer over 10 years ago. The estimated completion date is November 2014.