Interstate 581

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Interstate 581

I-581 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-81
Maintained by VDOT
Length6.64 mi[1] (10.69 km)
Existedlate 1950s–present
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end US 220 / SR 24 in Roanoke
North end I-81 / US 220 near Hollins
CountryUnited States
CountiesCity of Roanoke, Roanoke
Highway system
I-564 SR 598

Interstate 581 (I-581) is a spur off I-81 into Roanoke, Virginia, completely overlapping US Route 220 (US 220). It is planned to be connected to I-73. Future I-73 Corridor signs are marked on I-581 on the southbound side just after exit 2.

Route description

Northern terminus of I-581 at I-81 in Roanoke County
View north along I-581/US 220 just north of SR 24 in Roanoke

The I-581 designation ends at the Elm Avenue (State Route 24 (SR 24)) interchange in downtown Roanoke, where US 220 continues south as the Roy L. Webber Expressway. I-581 was constructed as a six lane highway for its entire length and has not been widened in its history.

Many of I-581's exits are cloverleaf interchanges, which results in weaving. The northern terminus has short merge areas with I-81, particularly the left-lane southbound merge.

Roanoke–Blacksburg Regional Airport, Valley View Mall, and Berglund Center are all located adjacent to I-581. The Hershberger Road (SR 101) exit has become a focus of development. In addition to Valley View, two large hotels were constructed in the early 1980s with another group of hotels being constructed from the mid-1990s through the present. In 2002, local CBS affiliate WDBJ constructed its new facility, designed to broadcast in HDTV, on Hershberger Road near I-581.

The southern end of I-581 offers views of the downtown Roanoke skyline, most prominently the Hotel Roanoke, the Wells Fargo Tower, the former Roanoke Shops of Norfolk Southern Railway, the Norfolk Southern tower, and St. Andrews Catholic Church. The Roanoke Star is also clearly visible.


The road is planned to become part of an extension of I-73 in Virginia.


Roy L. Webber Expressway

In 1980, the highway was extended approximately 3.3 miles (5.3 km) from the Elm Avenue interchange to SR 419 near Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke County. US 220 continues as a four lane arterial road south of the SR 419 interchange. Since the extension was not constructed to full Interstate Highway standards, it only carried the US 220 designation and was named the Roy L. Webber Expressway after a former mayor of Roanoke. The primary interchange along the expressway is at Wonju Street, which links Franklin Road (US 220 Business [US 220 Bus]) and Colonial Avenue and Brandon Avenue (US 11). This exit provides quick access to downtown Roanoke from residential areas in southwest Roanoke. Wonju Street is named after Wonju, South Korea, one of Roanoke's sister cities. The expressway was originally constructed with four lanes but was widened to six lanes in the mid-1990s.

Exit list

City of Roanoke0.000.00
US 220 south – Martinsville
Continuation beyond SR 24; south end of US 220 overlap; future I-73
6 SR 24 (Elm Avenue) – VintonSouthern terminus

US 11 / US 220 Bus. / US 221 south – Downtown
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; US 221 not signed
0.971.564 US 460 (Orange Avenue) – Berglund CenterSigned as exits 4E (east) and 4W (west)
2.654.263CValley View Boulevard – AirportDiverging diamond interchange completed in November 2016 with new south bound exit and northbound entrance ramps, now providing complete access
3.766.053 SR 101 (Hershberger Road) – AirportSigned as exits 3E (east) and 3W (west)
5.518.872 SR 117 (Peters Creek Road)Signed as exits 2N (north) and 2S (south)
I-81 / US 220 north – Salem, Bristol, Lexington
I-81 exit 143; northern terminus; signed as exit 1N (north) and left 1S (south); tri-stack interchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. December 31, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  2. ^ "Jurisdiction Report - Roanoke County" (PDF). Virginia Department of Transportation. 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2013.

External links