Interstate 77 Virginia - Aerial Photos

These photos were taken by the Virginia Department of Highways in April 1974.

Paving is underway on this section of I-77, looking north from the Hicksville area to the Rocky Gap area in Bland County. This section is north of the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. Photo taken by the Virginia Department of Highways, in April 1974.



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Earth moving operations for I-77 construction in progress at Fancy Gap. To the north (upper left) is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo taken by the Virginia Department of Highways, in April 1974.

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"Pushing Ahead on I-77", Virginia Highway Bulletin, Virginia Department of Highways, April 1974, concerns the 6-mile-long project in the Fancy Gap area that crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Direct quote (in blue text):
The work in the Fancy Gap area calls for two separate roadways - 600 feet apart, with one 100 feet higher than the other - along the southern slope of Sugarloaf Mountain in a complete wilderness area. More than 18 million cubic yards of rock and dirt will be dug from one place and moved to another (the deepest cut will be 160 feet, and the highest fill will be 270 feet). However, every effort will be made to retain the natural look of the surroundings. Except for some areas where the natural rock will be left exposed, the uprooted ground cover will be replaced. Although the grade will be no more than 4-1/2 percent, there will be a 1,500-foot change in elevations. Three emergency escape ramps will be provided for vehicles that lose their braking systems. The lower roadway will have three travel lanes to allow slow-moving trucks to pass without blocking passenger cars. Paved shoulders will provide space for emergency stopping.

Map showing the 33.5 miles of I-77, from the North Carolina border, to I-81 at Fort Chiswell, Virginia, by the Virginia Department of Highways, 1974.

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The 8.6-mile long section of I-77 from the North Carolina border to VA-148 at Fancy Gap opened in July 1977. The next 15.7-mile-long section from VA-148 to VA-69 at Poplar Camp opened in December 1977. The next 9.2-mile-long section from VA-69 to I-81 at Fort Chiswell opened on December 4, 1978, completing I-77 from North Carolina to I-81. Lengths and opening dates from Interstate System Opened to Traffic as of July 1, 1992, by Virginia Department of Transportation.

Lead article Interstate 77 Virginia - Photos

Copyright 2001-2004 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved. Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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By Scott M. Kozel, Roads to the Future

(Created 8-11-2001, updated 4-2-2004)