BLAND, Va. — Traffic will likely be slow going through most of Friday evening for motorists heading south on Interstate 77 in Virginia not far from the West Virginia line.

A tractor trailer crashed Frirday morning, one of the busiest travel days of the year, closing both southbound lanes just south of the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel in Wythe County.

The truck spilled its load of building materials. The crash took out a large section of guardrail.

The Virginia Department of Transportation was able to open one southbound lane by 11 a.m. but traffic, most of it Memorial Day holiday weekend traffic, was backed up 10 miles southbound by mid-afternoon. Northbound traffic was not impacted.

The accident scene was cleared at just before 5 p.m.

Virginia State Police had set up a detour at Exit 47 but that was also backed up.

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  • John Bill

    Have you ever noticed that there are NO third lanes on the up hill grades in that part of VA?

  • Pickle Barrel

    I can't count how many times I've taken Route 52 from Wytheville to the WV line because of traffic jams on I-77.

  • Curly Joe

    To each of you....want some cheese with your whine? Hey, it's life!

  • Low Rider

    Been there and done that. I can't tell you the number of beach trips over the past 25 years that have been delayed on I 77. Truly one of the worst roads in America.

    • THP

      Same here, Low Rider. From the East River Mountain Tunnel to Wytheville, you had better pray that there are no accidents. Because if there are, be prepared to sit in your car for hours.

  • Tom

    Thousands of dollars were spent by the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation to control the traffic and clean up the mess? Who do you think should pay for it? Who do you think will pay for it? And I'm not even figuring in the thousands of inconvenienced motorists who had to sit in traffic for hours. They should receive something. All this was caused by a single driver...probably speeding.

    • Shadow

      Was that driver in a truck or a 4-wheeler?

    • jeco

      Pure speculation on your part. That' fair. Generally, the truck companies have insurance and the State will bill their insurance. There is no compensation for the pain and frustration for those waiting for the road to open.

      • Tom

        In a 'perfect world', the compensation to the motorists affected would be a hefty fine paid by the driver which would go into the road fund for highway improvements. Let's hope it happens in this case.