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Charlottesville to Reconfigure Belmont Bridge Pedestrian Access

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Belmont Bridge Belmont Bridge
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

More restrictions are on the horizon for Charlottesville’s Belmont Bridge.

Built in 1961, the city has announced a pedestrian reconfiguration plan as a result of safety concerns. The plan affects the southbound lanes of the Belmont Bridge.

Later in February, both drivers and pedestrians will notice a visible shift.

The city announced Wednesday that the sidewalk has become a safety concern. This is based on a recent inspection from the city's structural consulting firm.

Mid-Atlantic Engineering says the condition of the sidewalk has degraded but to keep pedestrian access over the bridge, engineers will now shift southbound traffic to the inside lane.

That will make way for pedestrians to use the outside southbound lane. Pedestrians will be protected by a continuous concrete barrier.

The city also says pavement markings and signage will be installed to clearly communicate the changes.

The northbound sidewalk has been closed for several years for a similar reason.

The bridge is set to be replaced but is still in the design phase.

Press Release from the city of Charlottesville:  

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The city of Charlottesville will be reconfiguring pedestrian access adjacent to the southbound lane of the Belmont Bridge in late February.

Based on the most recent inspection from the city's structural consulting firm, Mid-Atlantic Engineering, the condition of the sidewalk has degraded to a point where it has become a safety concern.

This work is similar to that which occurred several years ago when the northbound sidewalk was closed; however, closing the southbound sidewalk will require additional measures to ensure safe pedestrian access.

In order to maintain pedestrian access, vehicular traffic will be shifted to the inside southbound lane and pedestrian traffic will use the outside southbound lane. Pedestrians will be protected from vehicular traffic by a continuous concrete barrier. In addition, southbound bicycle traffic will be permitted to use this protected area, as the full width will be 10' wide, similar to a multiuse trail.

Pavement marking, signage and ADA ramps will also be installed. These adjustments will allow for continued pedestrian access with minimal impact to vehicular traffic as the southbound bridge is largely striped for one lane of travel.

A notice regarding this work was sent to neighboring properties and the adjoining Neighborhood Association representatives.

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