The advisory panel reviewing two detailed proposals to improve the I-81 corridor in Virginia has recommended to DOT Commissioner Philip Shucet that he enter into negotiations with STAR Solutions for a comprehensive agreement. The STAR proposal is based on the separation of car and truck lanes along the I-81 corridor.
The majority of the panel supported the concept of widening I-81 to four lanes in each direction, with tolls applied to both cars and trucks. The panel also strongly endorsed the need for a multistate effort for rail improvements.
The panel's recommendation and its supporting documents will go to Shucet for his review. Shucet will determine whether to accept, reject or modify the recommendation. He also will determine whether to enter into negotiations for a comprehensive agreement.
The panel's recommendation were based on certain conditions, such as that no improvements can be made to the corridor unless they are part of a federally approved environmental impact statement.