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What caused the traffic issues on Interstate 81 this week?

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:06:15 AM EST
Updated On: Aug 23 2013 06:12:25 PM EDT

Right now, traffic on Interstate 81 is moving smoothly.
Many drivers know that hasn't been the case for one stretch of I-81 in Roanoke County this week.

ROANOKE CO., Va -

Were you stuck in traffic on Interstate 81 this week?

The Virginia Department of transportation chalks it up to a paving problem and a little bit of bad luck.

Four spots of a two mile stretch on the northbound side of 81 between mile marker 138 and 140 needed to be re-paved.

The original plan was for this to be an overnight lane closure Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, the VDOT contractor realized that batch of asphault was bad because it was coming up, so they had to close a lane during the day and put in a temporary fix to re-open for the evening commute.

Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the plan was to get rid of the temporary fix and make a permanent fix.

When the contractor was making the permanent fix, they realized part of that batch of asphalt was also bad, so they had to put another temporary fix in.

That brings us to last night, when the contractor returned again, they had a piece of paving equipment break down.

The plan is to leave the temporary fix right now in place and they'll fix it Sunday night into Monday morning to avoid any weekend travel headaches.

So if you were one of those drivers stuck in traffic on 81 at some point this week, I can assure you, V-DOT and its contractors were just as frustrated as you were.