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Interstate 81

Interstate 81 is a major north-south truck route through Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. The highway is infamous for its prevalence of tractor-trailers, especially through Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.

Interstate 81 begins at Interstate 40 near Dandridge, Tennessee. From there, the highway travels along the Appalachian Mountains, serving smaller cities in Virginia including Bristol, Wytheville, Staunton, and Winchester. Interstate 581 connects Interstate 81 to the city of Roanoke. After spending 325 miles in Virginia, Interstate 81 spends just 38 miles in West Virginia and Maryland combined. After leaving Maryland behind, Interstate 81 enters Pennsylvania and spends 233 miles in the commonwealth before reaching the Empire State. After 184 miles in the Empire State in which Interstate 81 goes through Binghamton, Cortland, Syracuse, and Watertown, Interstate 81 comes to an end near Thousand Island State Park in New York at the Canadian border.

Highway Information

States Traveled Through
(Mileage in state)
Tennessee (75.66)
Virginia (324.92)
West Virginia (26)
Maryland (12.08)
Pennsylvania (232.63)
New York (183.6)
Total Mileage 854.89
Cities Tennessee:
Morristown, Kingsport,
Johnson City, Bristol

Virginia:
Bristol, Marion,
Wytheville, Christianburg,
Roanoke, Lexington,
Staunton, Harrisonburg,
Winchester

West Virginia:
Martinsburg

Maryland:
Hagerstown

Pennsylvania:
Chambersburg,
Shippensburg, Carlisle,
Harrisburg, Frackville,
Mahanoy City, Hazelton,
Wilkes-Barre, Scranton

New York:
Binghamton, Cortland,
Syracuse, Watertown

Source 10/31/02 Interstate
Route Log & Finder List
OKRoads Coverage
Miles Driven
by OKRoads
(Percentage)
434 (51%)
Southern End of
Interstate Driven
(Section 1)
Interstate 40
(Exits 1A-B in TN)
Northern End of
Interstate Driven
(Section 1)
Interstate 66
(Exit 300 in VA)
Southern End of
Interstate Driven
(Section 2)
Interstate 70
(Exits 4A-B in MD)
Northern End of
Interstate Driven
(Section 2)
Halfway Blvd.
(Exit 5 in MD)
Southern End of
Interstate Driven
(Section 3)
Interstate 84/
Interstate 380
(Exit 187 in PA)
Northern End of
Interstate Driven
(Section 3)
New York 17

Selected Pictures
For more pictures of Interstate 81 from a particular state, click on the state below.

Tennessee
Interstate 81 South comes to an end as Exit 1A for Interstate 40 East - Asheville heads off to the left and Exit 1B for Interstate 40 West - Knoxville continues straight ahead. (Photo taken 3/21/03)
Interstate 81 South at Exit 57B - Interstate 181/U.S. 23 North - Kingsport. Interstate 181 was replaced by a northward extension of Interstate 26 during 2004 and 2005. (Photo taken 3/21/03)
Interstate 81 South at Exit 74B - U.S. 11W South - Kingsport. (Photo taken 3/21/03)
Virginia
Interstate 81 South at Exit 3 - Interstate 381 South - Bristol. The interstate provides a direct link to downtown Bristol. The city was a hotbed of activity this particular weekend, with NASCAR's two major series in town for races. I did see a couple of cars decorated in NASCAR stuff get pulled over, however! (Photo taken 3/21/03)
Interstate 77 North officially leaves Interstate 81 South behind here at Exit 72. Another lane has been set aside for those wanting to head towards the Mountain State. The wrong-way duplexing continues, as the mainline remains as Interstate 81 South and U.S. 52 North. It is easy to get confused around here! (Photo taken 3/21/03)
Interstate 81 South at Exit 81 - Interstate 77 South - Charlotte. Interstate 77 North joins Interstate 81 South for the next nine miles. (Photo taken 3/20/03)
Interstate 81 South at Exit 143 - Interstate 581/U.S. 220 South - Airport/Roanoke. (Photo taken 3/20/03)
Interstate 81 South/Interstate 64 West at Exit 191 - Interstate 64 West - Lexington/Charleston. This marks the southern end of the 30-mile duplex of the two interstates. (Photo taken 3/20/03)
Maryland
Interstate 81 South approaching Exit 4 - Interstate 70 East & West - 1/2 mile, near Hagerstown, Maryland. (Photo taken 3/16/03)
Interstate 81 South approaching Exit 4 - 1/4 mile. (Photo taken 3/16/03)
Interstate 81 South at Exit 4 - Interstate 70 East & West - Hancock/Frederick. (Photo taken 3/16/03)
Interstate 81 South collector/distributor lane at Interstate 70 West - Hancock/Cumberland. (Photo taken 3/16/03)
Interstate 81 South collector/distributor lane at Interstate 70 East - Frederick. (Photo taken 3/16/03)
Pennsylvania
Interstate 81 South and U.S. 6 East at Exit 187 - Interstate 84/U.S. 6 East and Interstate 380 South - Carbondale/Mount Pocono. This interchange marks the western terminus of Interstate 84 and the northern terminus of Interstate 380. (Photo taken 7/9/05)
Interstate 81 South and U.S. 6 East at Exit 191B - U.S. 11 South - Scranton Expressway. The expressway extends southward into downtown Scranton. (Photo taken 7/9/05)
Interstate 81 South and U.S. 6 East at Exit 194 - Interstate 476 South/U.S. 6 West/U.S. 11 - Clarks Summit. This is the northern terminus of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Interstate 476 is the longest three-digit interstate in the country at a length of 129.61 miles. (Photo taken 7/9/05)
New York
Interstate 81 South and New York 17 East at New York 17 East - New York. The Big Apple is 187 miles to the southeast. (Photo taken 7/9/05)
Interstate 81 South and New York 17 East at Exit 4S - New York 7 South - Binghamton, and Exit 4N - New York 7 North - Hillcrest. New York 7 from here northeastward follows the route of Interstate 88 closely. The state highway eventually makes it to Schenectady and Albany before entering the state of Vermont. (Photo taken 7/9/05)

Highway Links

Tennessee:

Interstate 81 Tennessee @ SouthEastRoads.com (Andy Field/Alex Nitzman)

Virginia:

Interstate 81 Virginia @ AARoadtrips.com (Andy Field/Alex Nitzman)

West Virginia:

Interstate 81 West Virginia @ AARoadtrips.com (Andy Field/Alex Nitzman)

Maryland:

Interstate 81 Maryland @ AARoadtrips.com (Andy Field/Alex Nitzman)

Pennsylvania:

Interstate 81 Pennsylvania @ AARoadtrips.com (Andy Field/Alex Nitzman)

New York:

Interstate 81 New York Exit Listing (J.P. Wing)

Page created: December 15, 2005
Last updated: December 15, 2005