News | June 19, 2009

SELC’s Objections to Oversized Climbing Lanes Yield Results

VDOT may have rejected a massive and destructive plan to add four lanes to the entire 325-mile length of I-81 in Virginia, but it is still pursuing plans that would result in substantial expansion of the interstate. These include “truck climbing lanes” that would be much wider and much longer than necessary.



Two such projects―in Montgomery County and in Rockbridge County―involve significant widening of I-81. SELC submitted detailed objections to these proposals, emphasizing that VDOT failed to conduct a meaningful analysis of the environmental impacts of the plans and made no attempt to develop a design that takes into account the special features of the surrounding terrain—the kind of context-sensitive design called for by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.





Thanks in part to our efforts, these projects have been redesigned, although further improvements are needed.