The Shenandoah Valley Network released a six-point plan addressing the real needs on I-81 while respecting the communities in the corridor. Dozens of local governments and community groups endorsed the “Reasonable Solutions for the Future of I-81.”
Reasonable Solutions for I-81: A Six Point Plan for the Future calls on federal, state and local governments to work cooperatively toward achieving the following goals:
- Complete spot improvements to I-81, such as climbing lanes and redesigned exits, which will improve safety and relieve congestion. Data should support the need and type of each improvement, many of which are identified in earlier VDOT studies.
- Use the highway’s median for improvements to limit the encroachment of the road on private property and to avoid further impacts on adjacent landowners, communities, farmland, battlefields and tourism.
- Significantly step up law enforcement to improve safety.
- Incorporate meaningful transit options for both urban and rural areas in road improvement plans. Coordinate with cities, local governments, major employers and universities.
- Pursue implementation of a rail component for a balanced transportation system that would increase options for freight capacity, maintain economic competitiveness and avoid air quality and congestion problems as road use grows.
- Provide funding for land acquisition to mitigate impacts of I-81 on cultural resources in the corridor, most notably battlefields.