US 11 in Virginia
US 11 is a US Highway in the US state of Virginia. The road forms a north-south route that runs in a northeasterly direction in the west of the state, parallel to Interstate 81. The road runs from the Tennessee border at Bristol through Roanoke and Harrisonburg to the West Virginia border, intersecting I-81 many times. The route is 529 kilometers long.
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The town of Bristol is located on the border between Virginia and Tennessee, so there are two towns with that name, although functionally it is one town. US 11 in Tennessee splits into US 11E and US 11W, both routes converging just over the border in Virginia, at which point the route is known as US 11. The road then heads northeast through the wide valleys that form the eastern side. Appalachian Mountains features. Interstate 81 runs parallel to it for a short distance. At Abingdon you cross the US 19 and US 58.
US 11 runs long stretches through valleys of agricultural land, so there is a lot of scattered development in the area, plus small and larger villages and the occasional small town. One such town is Wytheville, a regional road junction. It not only crosses US 21 and US 52, but also Interstate 77. East of Whyteville, US 11 follows the frontage roads of I-77/81. From Pulaski, I-81 diverts a little further from US 11, which therefore also has mostly 2×2 lanes between Pulaski, Dublin, Radford and Christiansburg. Radford also crosses the New River. US 460 joins at Christiansburg.
After Christiansburg, US 11 temporarily leads through more wooded area, this section is more winding and you quickly reach the urban area of Roanoke, the largest city on the US 11 route in Virginia. In Salem, US 11 and US 460 split again, with US 460 running directly to downtown Roanoke and US 11 providing an alternate route through the city. Roanoke also connects to Interstate 581 and US 220.
North of Roanoke, US 11 leads through a valley that contains the James River, one of the longest rivers in Virginia. The US 11 runs here partly over I-81. You then reach the small town of Lexington, where you cross US 60 and connect to Interstate 64. US 11 then runs through a wide valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Shenandoah Mountains to the west. However, the US 11 has no greater height differences here.
Just before Staunton, the US 340 splits off, after which one crosses the US 250 in Staunton itself. US 11 runs through downtown Staunton, although there is also a ring road. US 11 follows the broad valley northeast and then passes through Harrisonburg, further north US 11 follows the valley of the Shenandoah River, which meanders extremely in the area. US 48 joins Strasburg and US 11 passes through Winchester, the last major town before the West Virginia border. Winchester has a bypass on both the west and east sides, but US 11 runs through the center. US 11 in West Virginia then continues to Martinsburg.
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US 11 on the north side of Roanoke.
US 11 was one of the original US Highways of 1926 and was already completely paved by then. US 11 has historically been the backbone of western Virginia, connecting almost all major towns in the western part of the state. At the time, however, there were no really large places on the route of US 11, long-distance traffic was limited in the early years. This is one reason that large portions of US 11 remained a single-lane road until I-81 opened.
However, some shorter sections have been widened to 4 lanes, the first of which west east of Roanoke in the late 1940s. In the early 1950s, US 11 on the Pulaski-Christiansburg corridor was doubled to 2×2 lanes on some stretches. After the 1960s, almost no further sections of US 11 were widened.
Most of I-81 was opened over a 12-year period, between 1959 and 1971. However, there was a missing link east of Whyteville where US 11 was the thoroughfare. This section was not converted into a motorway until the 1980s and was completed in 1987.
US 19 in Virginia
US 19 is a US Highway in the US state of Virginia. The road forms a north-south route through the west of the state, between the Tennessee border at Bristol and the West Virginia border at Bluefield. The route is 163 kilometers long.
US 19 between Lebanon and Tazewell.
US 19 in Tennessee comes from Johnson City and runs from Bristol, Virginia along with US 11 to Abingdon. This section leads through a wide valley. Interstate 81 runs parallel to it. US 19 then branches off from US 11 and heads northwest through a mountain ridge to reach the somewhat isolated town of Lebanon. US 19 has a continuous 2×2 lane here and heads northeast, parallel to the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. From Claypool Hill, US 19 also coincides with US 460. US 19/460 passes Tazewell and splits into two parallel routes just before Bluefield, with US 19 running right through Bluefield and US 460 forming the bypass. Bluefield is just across the border inWest Virginia, then US 19 in West Virginia continues to Princeton and Beckley.
US 19 was created in 1926 and its route through Virginia has not changed since. At the time, the route was already paved almost everywhere, except for the part between Hansonville and Lebanon, which was asphalted in 1929.
The US 19 runs at a somewhat greater distance from the then under development I-81 and has therefore largely been widened to a 2×2 divided highway, except for the double numbering with the US 11 between Bristol and Abingdon. The first section to be widened to 2×2 lanes was the mountain stretch around Holston in 1965. By 1968, the entire stretch from US 11 in Abingdon to Hansonville had been widened to 2×2 lanes. Between the late 1960s and the late 1970s, several sections of US 19 were widened to 2×2 lanes. The Tazewell bypass opened in 1975. The Lebanon bypass was widened to 2×2 lanes around 1998. In 2002, the entire route from Abingdon to Bluefield was widened to 2×2 lanes when the final double-lane section opened east of Lebanon.