VDOT News - Bristol



Michelle Earl 276-696-3283


May 18, 2017

May 22 - 28:Bristol's Weekly Traffic Alert

BRISTOLIn 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.


Underlined entries with asterisks (***) indicate the listing is new or the status of the project has changed since last week’s traffic alert.




***Run for the Wall: The nationwide, annual Run for the Wall motorcycle caravan will pass through the VDOT Bristol District via Interstate 81 this week, traveling from Bristol through to Wytheville Wednesday (May 24), and from Wytheville into Salem Thursday (May 25). Motorists are advised to use caution and be alert to the motorcycle caravan as it passes through on its way to Washington, D.C. To learn more about the schedule, visit www.rftw.us.



***Interstate 81 – Exit 14:  Work is underway to reconstruct Interstate 81 exit 14 to better accommodate traffic volumes and to replace the north and southbound interstate 81 bridges at exit 14. During the week of May 22, anticipate periodic nighttime lane closures northbound this week due to road work.  Also be alert to flagging and heavy equipment on Old Jonesboro Road and Dennison due to bridge work and the building up of the grade for northbound I-81.  (Completion: fall 2018)


***I-81 bridges over Halls Bottom Road: Replacement of the Interstate 81 bridges over Halls Bottom Road near exit 10 in Washington County is underway. The week of May 22, be aware of grading and drainage work in the median, and to haul truck traffic entering and exiting the median. I-81 travel lanes may be narrowed through the work zone. Due to safety concerns, Route 808 (Halls Bottom Road) is closed underneath the interstate bridges. Only emergency-response vehicles will have access; all other vehicle traffic will be required to detour. (Completion: Fall 2018)

***Interstate 77 Big Walker Mountain Tunnel:
Due to tunnel washing at I-77 Big Walker Mountain Tunnel, anticipate north and southbound lane closures from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly Wednesday through Friday nights.

***Interstate 77 East River Mountain Tunnel: Due to maintenance work at I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel, anticipate northbound right lane closures from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly Wednesday through Saturday.


Interstate 81 Exit 17 bridge repairs: Motorists should anticipate periodic nighttime lane closures on I-81 at exit 17 northbound and southbound due to bridge repairs. Because much of the access for the repairs will be from underneath the bridge, flaggers will be used while working underneath the bridge to ensure pedestrian safety along the Creeper Trail.  (Completion: June 2017)


Interstate 81 bridge repairs at mile marker 45 over Matson Drive: Due to repairs to the Interstate 81 bridges over Matson Drive and their proximity to the southbound exit 45 on-ramp, the southbound on-ramp is closed. Traffic should use the I-81 on ramps at exits 44 and 47. Motorists should also be alert to the possibility of lane closures north and southbound on Interstate 81 near exit 45 in Marion due to repairs to the bridges over Matson Drive.  (Completion: May 2017)


***Interstate 77 – maintenance activities: Be alert to lane closures on I-77 this week due to repairs to pavement markings northbound and southbound between exit 41 and mile marker 43 in Wythe County


***Interstate 81 – maintenance activities: Be alert to lane closures due to the following maintenance activities on I-81:

  • Repairs to pavement markings southbound between mile markers 64 and 61 in Wythe County
  • Mowing north and southbound between Emory and Rural Retreat.


Bland County

Route 601 bridge replacement: Due to replacement of the Route 601 bridge over Little Walker Creek in Bland County, be alert to workers in the work zone as well as traffic shifts. (Completion: October 2017)


Route 58 – bridge replacement over Peggy Branch: Temporary signals will be controlling one-way traffic during construction of a new bridge on Route 58 over Peggy Branch in Grayson County. The bridge is being replaced in two phases. Motorists should be aware to a reduced speed limit. (Completion: November 3, 2017)



Buchanan County

Route 624 (Garden Creek Road): Route 624 (Garden Creek Road) is currently closed between Route 702 (Old Vandyke Hollow) and Route 627 (Young’s Branch) due to a mudslide which occurred April 23.  The road will remain closed for the next few weeks to allow for repairs.  The instability of the slope prohibits VDOT from reopening one lane. Route 624 alternate routes are:

  • From Drill: take Route 624, Route 662 Robinson Fork, Route 620 East to 83 at Vansant.
  • From Vansant: Route 83 West, Route 620 Deskins Road, Route 662 Robinson Fork onto Route 624

**VDOT is working closely with local elected officials on this project, and VDOT is taking all project inquiries. Please call 1-800-FOR-ROAD for project questions.


Lee County
Water Line Projects: Motorists should be alert to slight delays along the following highways due to water line projects:

  • Route 684 (Holiness Hollow) (Completion: Summer 2017)
  • Route 661 (Flatwoods Road) between the intersection of Route 669 (Blue Hollow Road) to the Tennessee State Line. Anticipate lane closures. (Completion: Summer 2017)
    Route 642 (Old Woodway Road) between Route 421 and Route 638 (Hickory Flats Road). (Completion: Spring 2017)
  • Route 690 in the Caylor section of Lee County at the intersection of Route 58, extending approximately .42 mile north. (Completion: Summer 2017)


Route 58 bridge repairs in Jonesville: Repairs to the Route 58 bridge over Town Branch in the Jonesville area of Lee County are underway and have restricted east and westbound traffic

to one 12-foot-wide lane controlled by traffic signals. Motorists should use caution in the area

and wide loads over 12 feet should plan alternate routes while repairs are underway. (Completion: August 2017)


Russell County
***Flashing Yellow Arrow Install: The flashing yellow arrow signals have been installed at the intersection of Route 19 and Wal-mart and the intersection of Route 19 and Business Route 19 in Lebanon and will be fully operational in the coming weeks. VDOT anticipates having the signals fully operation in the coming weeks. The new flashing yellow arrow signal allows drivers to turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic. Flashing yellow arrows are more effective than the more common circular green light and other signals at conveying to drivers the need to yield to oncoming traffic. 





Scott County

Route 709 – pipe replacement: A section of Route 709 in the Hiltons area of Scott County has been closed due to a pipe replacement project. Motorists are advised to use caution in this area while work is underway. (Completion: early May 2017)


Route 671 bridge replacement: Traffic is restricted to one 9-foot-wide lane on Route 671 in the Valley Creek area of Scott County due to a bridge replacement project. Anticipate periodic delays in the work zone due to flagging operations. (Completion: July 24, 2017)


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: November 2018)


Utility Projects – various locations: Anticipate lane closures during daylight hours at the following locations in Scott County due to utility projects:

  • Water line installation work along Route 71 (Nickelsville Highway) and connecting secondary routes between Route 792 (Slabtown Road) and Route 790 (Pin Oak Circle). (Completion: Spring 2018)
  • Power line installation along U.S. Route 23 between Route 58 at Duffield and Route 871 (Natural Tunnel Parkway). (Completion: Spring 2018)
  • Utility installation work along Route 23 in the Weber City area between Gate City and the Route 23/Route 614 (Yuma Road) intersection. (Completion: summer 2017)



Smyth County

Route 16 bridge project: Due to replacement of a portion of the Route 16 bridge over Slemp Creek in the Sugar Grove community of Smyth County, motorists should be alert to the possibility of delays. Traffic signals are controlling one 9-foot-wide travel lane through the work zone. The bridge is located between Route 601 and Route 695. (Completion: October 6, 2017)


Route 637 – bridge work: The Route 637 bridge over Carlock Creek in Smyth County will remain closed until approximately June 23. The closure will allow VDOT to replace the bridge superstructure. Motorists should follow detour signs and use caution around the work zone area. (Completion: June 2017)



Tazewell County

Route 623 bridge replacement: A project to reconstruct the Route 623 bridge over Little Creek in the Burkes Garden area of Tazewell County is underway. Motorists should use caution in this area and be alert to a yield sign controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. (Completion: July 2017)


Route 102 bridge replacement: A project to reconstruct the Route 102 bridge over Laurel Fork in the Pocahontas area of Tazewell County is underway. Motorists should use caution in this area and be alert to signals controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. (Completion: August 2017)

Route 16 bridge replacement: A project to reconstruct the Route 16 bridge over Jacobs Fork Creek in the Bishop area of Tazewell County is underway and is restricting traffic to one, 10-foot-wide lane. Signals are controlling one-way traffic across the bridge. (Completion: August 2017)



Wise County

Route 610 culvert replacement: A project to replace a large culvert along Route 610 (Josephine Road) in the Norton area, has a portion of the route closed. The closure is between the Route 675 (Roosevelt Road) and Route 790 (W. Norton Road). (Completion: early May 2017)


Alternate Route 58 shoulder paving: Be alert to the possibility of east and westbound lane closures on Alternate Route 58 between St. Paul and Norton due to paving of the shoulders. (Completion: late June 2017)

Alternate Route 58 utility work:
Be alert to lane closures along Alternate Route 58 between St. Paul and Coeburn due to utility work. (Completion: summer 2017)

Route 158 – bridge replacement:
Due to replacement of the Route 158 bridge in the Town of Coeburn, motorists are using a detour around the bridge via Routes 1102 (Tate Street NE) and 72 (Laurel Avenue). Be alert to temporary traffic signals at the intersection of Routes 1102 and 72. (Completion: August 2017)

Route 613 – road widening:
Work to reconstruct a 0.185 mile section of Route 613 in the East Stone Gap area of Wise County is underway. Motorists should be alert to the possibility of periodic lane closures and should watch for flaggers directing traffic through the work zone. (Completion: summer 2017)


***Water and sewer line projects: Be alert to lane closures during daylight hours due to sewer line installations at the following locations:

  • The Andover, Osaka and Roda areas north of Appalachia in Wise County. Route 78 between Route 686 near Central Supply and Route 685 will be impacted by a portion of this work. (Completion: fall 2017)
  • In the Stonega community in Wise County near Appalachia, involving lane closures along Routes 78 and 600.  (Completion: spring 2018).


Route 757 (Wise-Norton Road): Work to widen a one-mile section of Route 757 (Wise-Norton Road) is underway. New traffic pattern restricts traffic to one-way on Route 757 from Business Route 23 at Wise toward Route 23. There is two-way traffic between Route 23 and the Wal-mart shopping area; however, traffic is accessing Route 757 north of Wal-mart using Route 23 north to Business Route 23 in Wise. Motorists should be alert to highway workers, message boards and detour signs, and heavy equipment in the area. (Completion: October 2017)






Route 665 (Power Plant Road): The road closure in place due to replacement of multiple drainage pipes along Route 665 (Power Plant Road) in Russell County has been lifted.


Route 654 – slide repairs: Slide repairs on a section of Route 654 (Banner Mountain Road) in Wise County have been completed (as of close of business Friday, May 19).





Bristol District
May 15 - 21, 2017

Emerging issues of potential significance or statewide impact:
Tractor Trailer fire – A tractor trailer fire at Interstate 77 mile marker 26.6 caused the need to divert traffic off I-77 at exit 24 in Wythe County. The incident lasted over nine hours and created 7.5 miles of congestion.


Hit and run incident - At approximately 6:12 a.m. Thursday (May 18), Virginia State Police troopers were called to the scene of a fatal hit and run crash in Tazewell County. A bicyclist was traveling northbound on Route 19 near Route 609 when he was struck from behind, sometime after midnight in the early morning hours May 18. The striking vehicle fled the scene without stopping. The adult male cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The case remains under investigation.



Significant initiatives, accomplishments, hires, promotions, awards, certifications:

Nothing to report.

Significant external meetings or events planned/significant internal recognition events planned:

Media Photo Opportunity – Lebanon Residency Administrator and Communications Manager took representatives from the Virginia Mountaineer and Voice newspapers to the Route 624 (Garden Creek Road) slide area Thursday for a photo opportunity. Slide repairs are underway by GeoStabilization International and a section of the road is closed to traffic. The repairs will take approximately 4 – 6 weeks to perform.


Potential transportation celebration opportunities (these will stay on the updates until they are carried out or it is decided not to hold them):

Nothing to report.

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: June 14, 2018