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State highway officials will hold a two-hour meeting for the public to see the plans to widen the Elm Avenue interchange on Interstate 581.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The Elm Avenue bridge over Interstate 581 is going to get wider and taller, but doing so will entail some traffic headaches along one of Roanoke’s busiest stretches of road.
Virginia Department of Transportation officials will outline for the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jackson Park Branch Library how they plan to manage the challenge of improving a heavily used intersection while drivers continue to use it.
VDOT plans to add a lane to both off-ramps from I-581 to Elm Avenue.
On Elm Avenue itself, VDOT plans to extend the left turn lanes in each direction, to give more space for cars and trucks lining up at the lights to turn onto the on-ramps. That’s why the Elm Avenue bridge over I-581, as well as the neighboring bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, will get wider.
At the same time, VDOT plans to give the bridge over I-581 a 2 1⁄ 2-foot lift, to give traffic on I-581 more headroom. The bridge’s current 14-foot vertical clearance is substandard, VDOT says.
A right turn lane also will be added from Elm Avenue onto Williamson Road.
The contractor will do the work in phases, so while there will be lane closures on both the interstate and Elm Avenue, neither will be closed completely.
American Infrastructure – VA Inc. of Glen Allen has the $20.4 million contract to do the work, which begins this year and is to be completed in the summer of 2015.
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