I-81 Corridor Delegates Seek Congressional Action for Dangerous Roadway

Sixteen Virginia House of Delegates members who live in jurisdictions located along western Virginia’s I-81 have signed a letter written to members of Virginia’s Congressional Delegation seeking assistance for safety improvements and congestion along the dangerous roadway (see I-81 letter 1 and I-81 letter 2 provided by Delegate Steve Landes).

In addition to the letter, Landes (R-25th District) introduced budget amendment 420 #2h, which provides $670,000 each year from the general fund. It also provides four positions to increase traffic enforcement on I-81 in Area Office 14 (Shenandoah), 16 (Rockingham), and 17 (Augusta).

Senator Mark Obenshain has introduced Senate Bill 561 that would direct the Department of Transportation to conduct a pilot program establishing zones on Interstate 81 where tractor trucks would be required to travel in the right lane only. He also introduced Senate Bill 971 that would direct the Commonwealth Transportation Board to develop and adopt an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement plan and evaluate the feasibility of tolling heavy commercial vehicles to finance corridor improvements.

“Interstate 81 is in dire need of safety improvements and congestion relief. We are seeking federal assistance to help alieve these problems,” Landes noted. “Today, a bipartisan group of Virginia’s Delegates and Senators have written to members of Virginia’s Congressional Delegation that represent the areas along the I-81 corridor to work with President Donald Trump’s Administration to secure funding for Interstate 81.”

The letter was sent to U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and to Congresswoman Barbara Comstock as well as Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith and asked for a commitment to address the issue.

Western Virginia elected representatives who signed were Senators Bill Carrico, Creigh Deeds, and Mark Obenshain as well as Delegates Dickie Bell, Jeffrey Campbell, Ben Cline, Chris Collins, Todd Gilbert, Chris Head, Chris Hurst, Terry Kilgore, Steve Landes, Dave LaRock, Israel O’Quinn, Todd Pillion and Tony Wilt.