Interstate 81

From Academic Kids

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Interstate 81 is an interstate highway in the eastern part of the United States. Its southern terminus is at Interstate 40 near Dandridge, Tennessee; its northern terminus is at Fishers Landing, New York at the Canadian border where the Thousand Islands Bridge connects it to Ontario provincial highway 401, the main freeway leading from Windsor-Detroit and Toronto to Montréal.

Contents

Distances by state

Mileskmstate
75 121 Tennessee
323 520 Virginia
23 37 West Virginia
11 18 Maryland
234 377 Pennsylvania
158 254 New York
824 1326 Total

Major cities along the route

Intersections with other Interstates

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Interstate 81 starts at the Canadian border and continues to Knoxville, TN

Spur routes

Notes

This road was originally a "line on a map" Interstate. For many years, it existed so more people can have a path through the Appalachians than to relieve congestion on that busy Roanoke-Harrisburg route.

However, I-81 has become a major route for interstate truck transportation in recent years. Trucking companies that have tired of fighting big-city congestion along Interstate 95 are now opting to use this less congested inland route. Virginia has decided to widen its entire portion of I-81 to a minimum of four lanes in each direction to accommodate increased truck traffic. Some sections of the new Virginia I-81 may completely separate car and truck traffic. For more comprehensive information on Virginia's plans for the I-81 corridor, see this site (http://virginiadot.org/projects/constSTAN-I81-overview.asp).

I-81 runs together with Interstate 77 in Wytheville, Virginia for about 10 miles (16 km), but the two go in opposite directions, creating a wrong-way multiplex. Motorists traveling northbound on I-81 are also traveling southbound on I-77, though they are actually going east. Likewise, motorists traveling southbound on I-81 are also traveling northbound on I-77, though they are actually going west.

I-481 around Syracuse, New York was originally called I-281.

There was an eastern branch, called I-81E, that was a spur from Scranton to Pocono in Pennsylvania. That highway is now I-380.

At I-81's northern terminus, a toll bridge over the St. Lawrence River connects it to unsigned Highway 137, a short link to the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway (ON Provincial Route 401) in Ontario. Not too far to the east lies the 'real' continuing freeway, Highway 416 leading into Ottawa.

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Interstate Highway marker

4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17
19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29
30 35 37 39 40 43 44 45
49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68
69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W)
76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82 83
84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E)
89 90 91 93 94 95 96 97
99 238 H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned Interstate Highways
A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
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