VDOT News - Staunton



Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
540-292-2500 (cell)

Ken Slack 540-332-9264
540-414-5670 (cell)


July 25, 2022


STAUNTON – On July 25 beginning at 8 p.m. Interstate 81 will have brief left-lane closures in the vicinity of the Route 720 (Smithland Road) bridge overpass in Rockingham County. The closure on northbound I-81 is between mile markers 247.3 to 249. The closure on southbound I-81 is from mile marker 250.5 to 248.7.

This work is to prepare the area for sign placement as part of the Route 720 bridge replacement project.

Lane closures on July 25 are anticipated to last approximately one hour in each direction with all work concluding by 7 a.m. on July 26. All work is weather permitting.

Motorists should be alert for slow moving vehicles in the work zone area and drive with caution.

Future I-81 left-lane closures are anticipated in the coming weeks to prepare for bridge demolition work that will take place this fall.

As part of this project the Virginia Department of Transportation will close the Route 720 (Smithland Road) Bridge over I-81. The closure is part of a project to demolish the current bridge and replace it with a new structure. A closure date will be announced closer to the time demolition is scheduled to begin.

During the project Route 720 will be closed between Route 718 (Old Furnace Road) and F238 (Buffalo Drive). Route 720 traffic will use a detour approximately 3.5-miles long.

  • On the east side of I-81, traffic will be detoured along Smithland Road turning right onto Linda Lane, then right onto to Country Club Road, then right onto Vine Street, and then right onto Old Furnace Road back to Smithland Road.
  • On the west side of I-81, traffic will be detoured along Smithland Road, turning right onto Old Furnace Road, then left onto Vine Street, then left onto Country Club Road, then left onto Linda Lane, then left onto Smithland Road.

Buffalo Drive will be closed for shorter periods of time during some phases of construction. Buffalo Drive will be signed, "Road Closed to Through Traffic" at the Route 724 (Trinity Church Road) intersection.

During bridge construction, I-81 closures will be necessary to set beams. Any closures on I-81 would be conducted at night to minimize the impact to traffic.

The current bridge was built in 1960 and has reached the end of its service life.

The new bridge will be constructed in the existing bridge location but will be approximately three feet higher. The bridge will have two through lanes and five-foot shoulders. The intersection of Smithland Road and Buffalo Drive will be improved to connect with the increased elevation of Smithland Road.

A video is available showing the Route 720 bridge replacement project details and traffic restrictions during construction. The video can be viewed on VDOT’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnCBejKSpUE&feature=youtu.be. Additional information can also be found on the Route 720 Project Page at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/rockingham_county_8211_route_720_smithland_road_bridge_over_interstate_81.asp

A contract valued at $4.9 million was awarded to Triton Construction Inc. of Virginia in April 2022 with completion in fall 2023. All work is weather permitting.

Virginia traffic alerts and traveler information are available by dialing 511 or visiting http://www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. Follow VDOT on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at http://www.VirginiaDOT.org.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.


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: July 28, 2022