The US Department of Transportation has granted Virginia two direct loans worth up to $82.6 million to improve Interstate 81.
According to a press release, the loans are from DOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and are focused on various improvements to Roanoke County’s interstate highways. Improvements include the construction of additional lanes and bridge replacements and the extension of I-81 to and from Frederick, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Shenandoah, Smith, Washington, and Wythe counties, as well as the Abingdon and Wytheville ramps. Includes $15 million for rural projects. .
“Anyone who has traveled on Interstate 81 knows it is in desperate need of repair. We’ve been fighting for upgrades to make it easier and safer to travel, and to allow businesses in Virginia to ship products to customers far away,” said Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. said in a lawmaker press release. “We are pleased that these loans have been 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.”
About half of the value of federal goods is transported on Interstate 81, which has seen “significant traffic growth” over the past decade. More than a third of his trucks passing through Virginia take Interstate 81.
The bipartisan infrastructure law reauthorized and expanded the TIFIA program to fund future infrastructure projects like this one.