Federal funding announced for I-81 improvements

WASHINGTON, DC (WDBJ/Kane Office Release) – US Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (D-VA) announced two direct loans to the state of Virginia. U.S. Department of Transportationof Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act program.

One is a loan of up to $82.6 million to help fund regular I-81 projects. The project focuses on various improvements in Roanoke County, including building additional lanes and replacing bridges. Extends freeway ingress and egress ramps in Frederick, Pulaski, Lockbridge, Shenandoah, Smith, Washington, and Wythe counties, as well as Abingdon and Wytheville.

“Anyone who has traveled on Interstate 81 knows it is in desperate need of repair. We’ve fought for upgrades to make it easier and safer to travel, and to allow Virginia businesses to ship products to customers farther afield,” the senator said. “We are pleased that these loans are directed to Virginia to enable improvements to I-81, and to enable Virginia communities to build and maintain roads and bridges. We will continue to build on the progress we have made with the bipartisan infrastructure law.”

According to Kane and Warner, more than a third of all trucks passing through Virginia and about half of the value of federal goods travel along Interstate 81. Traffic on Interstate 81 has increased significantly over the past decade, and travel along Interstate is expected to continue to increase.

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