Roanoke interchange project to bring possible congestion - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke interchange project to bring possible congestion

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Backups and blocked intersections are a common sight at the Elm Avenue 581 interchange. Sometimes it is so bad, Beth Pline has to find another way home. 

"Especially between 7 and 9 in the morning it can be a long wait to get through the lights," says Pline. 

An issue VDOT spokesman Jason bond is well aware of and has seen himself. 

"581 is the busiest road in western Virginia. The congestion at this interchange has always been a concern, and I think anybody that drives the interstate knows there are some issues there," says Bond. 

Pretty soon construction will begin to fix the interchange and alleviate the traffic headache. Lanes will be added to off ramps, as well as a right turn lane onto Williamson Road. The left turn lanes will be extended. The project sounds great in theory but there are concerns. 

"It is going to be transportation chaos," says Pline. 

So what will the impacts be with this project once construction starts? Bond says they will keep two lanes of traffic open in both directions, however traffic patterns during construction. The big problems may come at night when detours are in place and some of the ramps are closed. 

"There are no capacity increases until the project is completed, so there are going to be the same issues with congestion with construction," says Bond. 

However the finished project at the end of the road in two years will hopefully put an end to heavy backups that have plagued the area for years.