The Network opposes plans for an $11.4 billion widening of I-81 to eight or more lanes, funded by tolls. We support affordable, lower-impact improvements, within the existing roadway, to address safety and congestion problems.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) greatly overestimated the traffic projections that justify the costly and destructive plan to widen I-81 to eight or more lanes through most of the corridor, according to a study commissioned by SVN and presented to the Northern I-81 Legislative Caucus at its second annual briefing in Richmond in February 2014.
The VDOT proposal to replace two aging bridges on Rt. 11 and the northbound bridge on I-81 – all on Cedar Creek in the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park near Strasburg – reflects a persistent failure to adequately address historic resources in road planning.
The Shenandoah Valley is facing a new threat to historic and natural resources with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) plan to replace the northbound bridge on I-81 over Cedar Creek near Strasburg, in the heart of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park and adjacent to protected private lands within the Cedar Creek Battlefield core area.
In early 2013, eleven members of the General Assembly representing the Shenandoah Valley joined forces to form the Northern I-81. Caucus to address problems with the state’s plan for excessive widening through the Valley. The Caucus held two briefings in Richmond during the 2013 General Assembly session.
Norfolk Southern briefed the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on the Crescent Corridor freight rail improvements, which will have a major impact on truck traffic on I-81.
There is no debate over the need to address safety issues and congestion problems on specific portions of I-81 throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Norfolk Southern’s plan for the Crescent Corridor, a $2.5 billion upgrade of rail freight lines from New Jersey to Louisiana, could take one million trucks off I-81, including 750,000 trucks in Virginia.