Studies: I-81 Auxiliary Lanes Exits 140 to Exit 141
Cost and schedule ►
Interstate 81 (I-81), between exits 140 and 141, experiences significant congestion daily due to high traffic volumes. The study area consisted of an approximate 1.5-mile section of northbound and southbound I-81 encompassing Exit 140 and Exit 141. The study initially sought to develop preliminary design plans and detailed costs for auxiliary lanes along northbound and southbound Interstate 81 connecting Exit 140 and Exit 141; however, by the conclusion of the study in early 2019 the study evolved into support for the implementation of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan.
The study evaluated multiple alternatives for the design of auxiliary lanes between Exit 140 and Exit 141. Alternatives consisted of widening to the outside, widening to the inside, connecting auxiliary lanes through Exit 141 to provide continuous auxiliary lanes between Exit 140 and Exit 143, and alternatives for future extension of the auxiliary lanes south of Exit 140. Alternatives were screened based on right-of-way impacts, constructability issues, and approximate cost of construction. Alternatives were also evaluated to connect to the proposed auxiliary lanes between Exit 141 and Exit 143 and to not preclude future extension of auxiliary lanes south of Exit 140.
The preferred design alternative includes the following design elements:
- Widen northbound and southbound I-81 to the inside (median) from Exit 140 to south of the existing I-81 bridges over Mason’s Creek
- Widen northbound and southbound I-81 to the outside on the approach to the existing I-81 bridges over Mason’s Creek
- Maintain the existing I-81 bridges over Mason’s Creek
- Widen northbound and southbound I-81 to the inside (median) from just north of the existing I-81 bridges over Mason’s Creek to the north side of Exit 141
- Connect to the northbound and southbound auxiliary lanes constructed as part of UPC 108906 between Exit 141 and Exit 143.
The preliminary design plans developed as a part of this study are currently being used as the basis for future construction along this segment of I-81 as a part of the ongoing efforts of the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan.
Traffic and safety analysis completed as part of the study demonstrated that construction of auxiliary lanes along northbound and southbound I-81 will provide improvements to safety and congestion which outweighed the additional costs of construction if auxiliary lanes were connected to the auxiliary lanes proposed by UPC 108906 terminating at Exit 143.
The study was completed in June 2019.
Lat/Long: 37.319090, -80.042944