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Motorists may be free to roam on Interstate 81 this weekend after all.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Rejoice, travelers. Your gas tanks, bladders and patience may yet survive the Labor Day weekend intact.
Southbound Interstate 81 reopened Thursday afernoon after a detour lasting two days and nights. Virginia Department of Transportation officials concluded that work crews have stabilized a stretch of highway in Montgomery County, considered a risk for rock slides, with help from a row of logging trucks lined up to serve as a defensive line for passing motorists.
There’s never a good time to shut down an interstate. And Labor Day weekend would be among the worst. Unless, of course, the mountainside had a mind to slide on down and pelt passersby with rocks and boulders. Now, that could seriously ruin your life.
Being forced yet again to detour around the southbound lanes in Montgomery County was merely a nuisance. It also was an opportunity for backseat engineers to ponder how much better they are than VDOT at designing highways and mapping detours. And for their next trick . . .
Pity VDOT does not have the same magic wand. Instead, it has earth movers, explosives and mere mortals to move a mountain. So it takes time; years, even. And sometimes things just don’t go as planned, the earth being a fickle partner in the interstate widening project. But it appears that this time VDOT’s mortals have saved the day.
So if your travels take you between here and Blacksburg, know you can get there from here. But before you head out, be sure to check the latest traffic report, just in case.
Weather JournalMix on Sat AM; coming blog changes