The Virginia Department of Transportation says it hopes to have the new Shadwell Bridge in Albemarle County up and running by Friday morning after 9:00.
VDOT began work on the nearly $2 million project in October. The bridge carries Route 250 traffic over the Buckingham Branch Railroad. Both the deck and supporting structure have been replaced.
NBC29 is told crews are currently putting in the final touches. Once completed, the bridge will be able to support heavier loads.
Virginia Department of Transportation Press Release
The Route 250 bridge at Shadwell will reopen to traffic after 9 a.m. on Friday, June 15, three weeks ahead of the scheduled July 9 reopening. Motorists should continue to use the detour route during the morning commute on Friday.
The bridge was closed to traffic on May 1, but work on the restoration project began last fall by Fairfield-Echols LLC, of Fishersville, Va., which was awarded the $1,788,671.20 contract by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The contractor worked through the winter outside the travel lanes to complete as much work as possible before the closure. Fairfield-Echols also did other work prior to the closure, such as casting the bridge parapets along with the deck sections, to minimize the time required to replace the superstructure.
With the project's completion all legal-load vehicles, including large trucks, can use the bridge. The new bridge is also built to current design standards with wider travel lanes and shoulders. In addition to the bridge work the roadway approaches on both sides of the bridge were widened to match the width of the new structure.
After the bridge is reopened to traffic VDOT will remove the second left-turn lane at the Interstate 64/Route 250 interchange at Pantops. That work is scheduled to be done early next week; the traffic pattern at the interchange will revert to the pattern in place prior to the bridge closure. The second turn lane was added to accommodate the additional traffic using I-64 as the detour route.
The Albemarle County Police Department and Albemarle Fire-Rescue were among the county agencies that worked closely with VDOT to ensure that emergency services were not disrupted during the closure. The Albemarle County Public Schools were also involved due to the effect on school transportation routes. VDOT and Albemarle County worked together and coordinated public outreach to nearby communities and businesses to make sure they were aware of the closure and made plans to minimize the inconvenience of the closure as much as possible.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT's traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state.