WINCHESTER — People can participate in a virtual meeting this morning regarding improvements to Interstate 81.

The meeting, being held by the Interstate 81 Advisory Committee, starts at 9 a.m. today. Members of the public are invited to view the meeting online and submit questions by phone, a Virginia Department of Transportation news release says.

The meeting can be streamed through, the website for the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, at the following link:

The meeting includes a designated time for public comment. Comments can be submitted by dialing 716-427-8269, followed by the PIN 845 948 751#. Comments will be taken in the order in which the calls are received. Callers will be placed on hold until it is their turn to speak. In the event there is an interruption in the broadcast of the meeting, call 804-729-6495.

The I-81 advisory Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the development of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan and updates to the plan. The committee meets four times each year and reports to the governor and General Assembly each December.

The $2.2 billion I-81 Corridor Improvement Program was approved by the CTB in December 2018. It is being funded through efforts of the Virginia General Assembly that were signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam in spring 2019.

A meeting agenda and additional information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program are available at The website includes interactive maps and timelines, and details about upcoming and current projects that are designed to improve safety, increase reliability, and foster economic growth along the 325-mile corridor.

As part of the I-81 Improvement Program, General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton recently completed the following projects in Virginia’s Staunton District with a contract value of about $2.1 million:

Exit 269 (Shenandoah Caverns), Shenandoah County: Extension of the deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 730 (Caverns Road)

Exit 279 (Edinburg), Shenandoah County: Extension of the acceleration lane from Route 185 (Stoney Creek Road) onto southbound I-81

Exit 283 (Woodstock), Shenandoah County: Extension of the acceleration lane from Route 42 (Reservoir Road) onto southbound I-81

Exit 302 (Middletown), Frederick County: Extension of the acceleration lane from Route 627 (Reliance Road) onto northbound I-81, and the deceleration lane from northbound I-81 onto Route 627

Dave Covington, the state’s I-81 program delivery director, previously said that other planned I-81 improvement projects in Winchester/Frederick County include the extension of the northbound acceleration lane at the truck weigh station between Middletown and Stephens City as well as a proposed widening of I-81 through Winchester from two to three lanes, from exit 313 to 317, northbound and southbound, a distance of 3.7 miles. Construction dates for both projects have not been determined.

— Contact Josh Janney