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I-81 exit 89 ramp extension completed

By MELINDA WILLIAMS
melinda@southwesttimes.com

Virginia Department of Transportation has completed extension of the northbound acceleration lane from Wysor Road onto Interstate 81 at Exit 89 in Pulaski County.

The project is among eight on- and off-ramp extensions along the interstate corridor recently completed as part of the $2 billion I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved in 2019. All eight projects concluded ahead of schedule, according to VDOT.

Adams Construction Co. in Roanoke performed the Exit 89 work. The project extended the acceleration lane from the 90.2- to the 90.7-mile marker. VDOT estimated the cost of construction at around $800,000, noting that it was part of a larger paving contract.

According to the corridor study, the estimated cost of preliminary engineering, right of way acquisition, utilities and construction was almost $4.8 million.

Exit 89 isn’t the only Pulaski County exit that will be extended under the corridor program.

VDOT spokesman Jason Bond said the southbound ramp onto the interstate at Exit 94 also is to be extended from mile marker 93.7 to mile marker 94.2. That project, however, isn’t slated for construction until around 2025, Bond said.

At this point, the Exit 94 extension project is expected to cost $3-$7 million in total. The estimate is to be narrowed down closer to time for the project to be bid.

The I-81 Corridor program calls for almost $8.8 million in improvements to 81 in the Salem District. In addition to the two on-ramp extensions, Pulaski County’s other project is installation of a flashing chevron sign in the curve at the 88-mile marker, at an estimated cost of $163,000.

The remaining Salem District projects are in town of Christiansburg, the cities of Radford, Salem and Roanoke, and counties of Montgomery, Botetourt and Roanoke.

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