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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 12
The last few years when returning from MB to Ohio we have run into severe traffic backups on 77 after merging off of I74 close to Mt Airy on Saturdays.

We never used to have this because we always left MB around midnight, but leaving in the morning on Saturday has put us right in the middle of this mess. It seems the whole backup is the cause of where 77 and 81 merge together at Fort Chiswell and it backs up traffic for over an hour.

Any way around this mess trying to get to the Canto OH area? I'm thing of going through Mt. Airy and then back roads through Fancy Gap, Galax and come up the back way into Wytheville. Sure doesn't save any time, but I can't stand sitting in that traffic.

Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:17 pm
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Location: Morgantown, WV
You are absolutely right about the traffic there during summer Saturdays. It is only about 30 miles from the North Carolina border heading north to Wytheville, but it can take 1 hour to 90 minutes because of back ups. And you are right about the 77/ 81 merge being the problem. Seems like we've come to a dead stop 5 miles south of the merger every year for the past 10 years.

For those of us who must use I-77/ I-79 to get home, there really isn't much of an alternative. US 52 runs parallel to the Interstate from Mt. Airy to Fort Chiswell, but it is a long, windy road. I would think that it would take longer getting up the mountain to Fancy Gap than the entire stop-and-go traffic on I-77.

Last year there was a wreck on I-77 at the merger, and we were detoured off at exit 24 (Shot Tower State Park) onto US 52. We were on that road for about 5 or 6 miles, avoided the merger with I81 and ended up entering I-77 at Max Meadows. I think we will do this again this year to avoid the last 5 miles of traffic back-up. But that doesn't solve the other 25 miles.

Wish I had a better answer... we will be in the same boat in July.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:08 pm
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We went through there last year when we went to Greensboro​ and it was backed up even on a Sunday and that was during spring time. It's just not a well thought out design.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:02 am
Posts: 102
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Look at the Exits that will put you on 52. At the first hint of traffic, get off and stay on 52 unit it puts you back onto 77. You will save time instead of sitting in that mess.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:01 am 
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Location: Sardis, Ohio
I agree Mr. Green...we prefer the curves on rte 52 to the backup at the split...but we are used to windy roads...where we live here in Ohio...most always go that way unless we are traveling at night or in the early morning...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 9:52 pm
Posts: 371
Location: Charleston, WV
Before noon I'd chance staying on the big road. Afternoon is a gamble. Later into afternoon, the higher the chance of traffic.
Leaving beach at 7:00am gets you there approx. noon depending on stops along the way.
Last exit before the split is Poplar Camp. Off the ramp. Turn right. Hop and skip and you're on RT 52. North of the mountain and curves.
Turn left and it's an easy drive to I 81. Think it comes in behind one of the truck stops.
If it's real late and really concerned about back up. Can hop off before Poplar Camp at Hillsville and follow same directions. Only difference would be few more miles of two lane and downtown Hillsville.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:44 pm
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Coming home this year we were determined to miss the two big back ups we hit every year on 77. The 81/77 merge and the stupid traffic that backs up before the Big Walker Tunnel. We did one detour around, I can't remember the exit or the road, but there was a flashing traffic sign up that said cars consider alternate route, next exit, so we put it in the navigation and went for it. Took about 20 minutes and we missed the merge traffic. Saw more backups (over 5 miles!!!) for the tunnel, so we hit Rt 52 and it was awesome. VERY curvy, very beautiful drive, would have loved to stop by the Old General Store that was at the overlook, but hubby just wanted off of that road :roll: It took us about a half hour to get back on 77, and we missed the tunnel traffic and saved 2 hours on our trip. I will never sit in that traffic ever again!!!! Thanks to this board, because I would have never even considered getting off of the highway if I hadn't read it here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 38
Location: West Virginia
We've gotten off onto 52 several times before. Has worked great. I'd rather drive 20 miles out of my way and keep moving than sit in traffic...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:17 pm
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Location: Morgantown, WV
Just came through this way on Saturday (July 29), and it was bad as always. First, there was a wreck on I-74 just before it joins I-77 north. Sat in stopped traffic for an hour before heading up the hill into Virginia. We did get off of I-77 at Exit 24 (Poplar Camp)... but so did everyone else. There was a sign suggesting cars exit there to avoid traffic. Well, it backfired because 52 was backed up for 5 miles to Fort Chiswell. We were in stop-and-go traffic for over 30 minutes just to go the 6 miles to get back on the Interstate.

Frankly, there is no good way around the congestion throughout Virginia on I-77. We hit it at Noon (would have been earlier if we hadn't been caught in the traffic for the wreck), but I think it is bad every Saturday in the summer.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:37 am 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 11:40 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Pittsburgh
I've experienced these backups on the way home as well and its frustrating.
Is the congestion the worst in the afternoons on weekends?

I will be coming home that way on a Friday in two weeks. Would a Friday going North be any better? Or is it always noon or later its just bad every day?

Thanks!
Happy to see this board still gets some movement (not like it was 5-10 years ago)


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