Emergency bridge repairs on I-81

crossover boulevard bridge

Emergency bridge repairs will take place on Interstate 81 at exit 247 following a hit and run bridge strike on June 6th.

Repairs will begin in Harrisonburg at 8 pm on Saturday and continue into Sunday morning.

After the incident, inspections were made which showed surface beam damage but the ramps and bridges were safe for traffic.

VDOT crews will perform barrier placement, guardrail and curb work on the Route 33 bridge over I-81.

This work will leave the acceleration lane narrowed and shortened until the bridge is replaced.

VDOT plans to award contracts to replace both Route 33 bridges later this year.

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VDOT plans sinkhole repairs in Shenandoah County

crossover boulevard bridge

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is urging motorists to make plans for upcoming sinkhole repairs in Shenandoah County.

According to an email from VDOT permanent repairs to the sinkhole at mile marker 268 will begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. and may extend into Thursday June 9.

The work may temporarily shut down northbound lanes between New Market and Mount Jackson.

Timing of the work is unknown until crews begin excavation.

No detour route is planned but should traffic backups occur VDOT recommends using Route 11 at exit 257 and rejoining 81 at exit 269.

A temporary patch has been in  place at the location since May 27 and has been monitored.

The work zone will begin at mile marker 266 to marker 269 starting Wednesday at 7 p.m. and remain in place until work is complete.

The exit at 264 will be closed at Route 211 in New Market due to tight turning areas for trucks trying to access Route 11 north.

Up to the minute travel information is readily available at all hours here.

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High speed chase through Frederick County

An email from Virginia State Police reports pursuit of a Chrysler on Interstate 81 from mile marker 303 to exit 302 at high rates of  speed.

At one point the Chrysler slammed on its breaks causing a tractor trailer to slam into its rear.

Using the emergency crossover the Chrysler sped back onto northbound 81 and exited at the 302 location.

Speeds reached over 100 miles per hour down Reliance Road.

The Chrysler at one point crossed the double yellow line to pass several cars before losing control running off the road.

The Chrysler struck two trees which fell on the pursuing trooper’s vehicle.

A passerby assisted the trooper to remove the driver of the smoking and damaged Chrysler.

The driver of the Chrysler, Damon S. Smith of Winchester was taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

The 38 year old Smith faces a number of charges including felony eluding, driving suspended and reckless driving.

Other charges include aggressive driving, operating an uninsured vehicle, expired registration and various infractions during the pursuit.

No other injuries were reported in the incident which remains under investigation.

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Police chase ends in Frederick County

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A police chase began in Berkeley County where officers pursued a vehicle on 81 south under suspicion of a DUI.

The vehicle, listed as stolen in Jefferson County, then entered Frederick County before taking exit 323 and continuing south.

Officers deployed a successful spike strip at Welltown Road.

Then the suspect, Matthew Kerlin, 31, led the officers on a brief foot chase.

Kerlin claimed to have swallowed methamphetamines during the pursuit and showed signs of overdosing when EMS arrived at the location.

He was then taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment.

Kerlin will face charges including possession of drugs and a stolen vehicle, felony eluding, and driving suspended.

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VDOT plans hearing for I-81 improvements

crossover boulevard bridge

The Virginia Department of Transportation is holding a public hearing on their plans to widen I-81 near Strasburg.

The hearing is on April 20th from 4:30 to 7 pm at Strasburg High School.

Written comments can be submitted up to 10 days later to Project Manager, Pamela Bowman.

This project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program and plans to build an additional southbound lane from mile marker 295 to 299.

This will connect with the acceleration merging traffic from 66 west to 81 south.

Other improvements planned for that area include multiple bridge renovations or replacements.

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Missing Frederick County juvenile located

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The missing juvenile, 14 year old Rae-Anna Allen of Frederick County, has been located safely in Arkansas.

Christopher Lane Stone, 22, of Hope, Arkansas was arrested with various charges pending from the ongoing investigation including abduction.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office began searching through digital forensics like tracking her electronic footprint.

FCSO learned she had likely left the county and state by the end of the day of her abduction.

Law Enforcement in Tennessee became involved early on using surveillance footage along I-81.

Hempstead County Sheriffs executed the search warrant where Allen was found in the company of Stone over 1,100 miles from her home.

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W.VA. Gov. orders stronger enforcement on 81 and other highways

Fatal Crash

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice calls for stepped up enforcement of speed limits on major highways.

After the loss of life last week at the West Virginia Virginia line on Interstate 81 Gov. Justice ordered State Police to enforce reduced speed limits in work zones.

The governor also ordered the Department of Transportation to go above and beyond national safety standards with signs and traffic control on all highways.

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VDOT reported refreezing producing slick spots

new bridges shenandoah county

Virginia Department of Transportation reported clear conditions on interstates and primary roads early this morning.

Refreezing did produced some slick spots particularly on secondary roads and bridges caution is advised.

Stay alert and drive for the conditions giving each other plenty of room.

Road crews are continuously to monitoring and treating the roads as needed.

Up to date information is available here.

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