Yesterday afternoon, the Virginia Department of Transportation shut down both of the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 at mile marker 132 in Montgomery County near Blacksburg.
Traffic is being detoured at 132 (Dixie Caverns) onto Route 11/460 and back onto I-81 in Christiansburg at exit 118.
“Crews have been blasting as part of work to repair an unstable slope near mile marker 124 on a project to construct a truck climbing lane in Montgomery County between mile markers 120 and 125. During a scheduled blast on Monday, Aug. 26, an existing crack in the unstable slope increased from approximately 50 feet to 120 feet in length. Geotechnical specialists have spent today reviewing the slope, and VDOT in the interest of public safety has decided to close southbound Interstate 81,” VDOT reported.
Officials say it may take up to ten days to repair the slope. The next blast is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 9 a.m. Once this blast is complete, a more definite time frame for how long the detour will be in place may be available.
Signs and message boards will be in place to alert drivers.
Work on the truck climbing lane project is expected to be completed in November 2013. For traffic information and updates, visit www.511Virginia.org.