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Work on Main Street Bridge Detours Traffic in Waynesboro - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Work on Main Street Bridge Detours Traffic in Waynesboro

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One of Waynesboro's most heavily traveled bridges is closed.  Traffic is detoured while contractors work on the aging structure, but they're not replacing the bridge just yet.

It's going to cost about $8.5 million to replace the Main Street Bridge over the South River in downtown Waynesboro.  The Virginia Department of Transportation has set aside only about a fourth of that money.  But the project is still in the early design phase, and construction won't happen till 2015.

Contractors are working on the bridge this week.  Their geotechnical work means drilling up to 200 feet below ground to test the bedrock. 

The findings will help engineers design a new bridge and the supporting pilings.  The clock is ticking on the current bridge - which dates back to 1934 - and earned a "poor" rating in the most recent inspection.

Waynesboro Assistant City Manager Jim Shaw stated, "There's a fair list of items of deterioration, whether that be concrete that's deteriorating or there are a number of parts to a metal bridge that are corroding on this bridge.  We have to come up with a program for replacement."

Shaw says the Main Street Bridge is not an imminent danger, but its "poor" rating means it should be replaced within five to seven years.

The new bridge will come with sidewalks and perhaps bike lanes.  It should also be designed with streetscape features because it's only one block from downtown Waynesboro, and serves as a major gateway.

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