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State lawmakers want more federal money for I-81 upgrades

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A group of Virginia state lawmakers are calling on Congress to find more money to improve safety along Interstate 81.

The Roanoke Times reports that several state lawmakers recently sent a letter to Virginia’s congressional delegation calling for additional federal funding.

State lawmakers recently approved raising gas taxes along the highway’s corridor and truck registration fees to help pay for upgrades to the road. But state lawmakers said Congress now needs to do its part.

The highway is a major artery that is vital to the state’s economy, stretching 325 miles (525 kilometers) along the western part of the state and heavily used by tractor-trailers. There are more than 2,000 crashes on the road each year, with more than a quarter involving heavy trucks.

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