Charlottesville Drivers Should Look Out for Bridge Construction Projects

Posted: Updated: Jul 08, 2018 07:32 PM
Construction area at a closed road Construction area at a closed road

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) warns drivers in the Charlottesville area about upcoming delays due to a number of bridge projects.

VDOT says the rise in projects is because of the severe weather in the Charlottesville area in the last few months.

Joel DeNunzio, the Charlottesville residency administrator, said, "You'll start seeing signs for the detour route out there."

Drivers in the Charlottesville area should expect some delays throughout July.

The Route 600 Bridge, also known as Stony Point Pass Over Flannigan Branch, will be closed for replacement starting Monday, July 9. The project is expected to last five weeks.

DeNunzio said, "It’s 80 some years old now. It was built in 1932 and it just need to be replaced. It’s deteriorating."

The bridge has a weight restriction of 17 tons. Once construction is complete, the bridge will be rated for all legal loads.

"We have other structures in the area with debris that’s washed up on them and we need to remove that debris," DeNunzio said.

The Proffit Road Bridge, which crosses the Rivanna River on Route 649, is another structure soon to be under construction. The bridge will close for a week beginning July 16.

Last month’s storms caused a good deal of damage to both bridges. VDOT says this is the busiest time of year for road work.

"We're right in the middle of the construction season right now," DeNunzio said. "We've got the bridge projects going on. We have paving projects going on, a lot of work going on in the spring and summer to basically get ready for the winter again."

VDOT says its primary concern is always safety and wants to remind drivers to take their time when driving through work zones.

DeNunzio said, "Be patient during construction times we have a lot of workers out there in orange vests and orange lights, make sure you move over for them and proceed cautiously through work zones and pay attention."

Another upcoming project is the bridge on Route 250 at Ivy Road which will be close for two weeks beginning July 13.

VDOT says it is working with contractors to finish the bridge projects sooner than their expected completion dates.

Release from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

CULPEPER — Western Albemarle commuters will face a challenge for two weeks in July when the Virginia Department of Transportation closes the bridge over Little Ivy Creek near Ivy west of Charlottesville. The closure, which begins Friday, July 13, is necessary to replace the deteriorating structure. The project will temporarily restrict through traffic on Route 250 (Ivy Road) between Crozet and Charlottesville.

During the closure, motorists who normally travel over the bridge just west of Route 637 (Dick Woods Road) should use Interstate 64 as the detour route. The additional traffic will increase congestion on I-64 during peak morning and afternoon travel times, and drivers should factor that into their trip planning. Access will be maintained to all cross streets and private entrances off Route 250 on both sides of the bridge, but traffic will not be able to travel across the bridge.

Using accelerated construction techniques, the bridge will be replaced with pre-cast box culverts that can be set more quickly, minimizing the length of the road closure. The bridge will reopen to traffic on or before Friday, July 27.

Burleigh Construction Co., Inc., of Concord, Va., is replacing the bridge under a $1,277,945.80 contract. The contract includes an incentive of $25,000 if the bridge is substantially complete and open to traffic before July 27, and an additional $15,000 for each day prior to July 27 the road is open. If the bridge is not substantially complete by July 27, a $15,000 disincentive will be levied for each day the bridge remains closed.

VDOT worked closely with Albemarle County, local emergency response agencies, businesses and nearby residents to determine the best way to accomplish the bridge replacement. Comments received at the public hearing overwhelmingly favored the two-week closure rather than a phased construction plan that would have restricted traffic on Route 250 to one lane, controlled by a traffic signal, for at least three months. The closure is scheduled during July to avoid affecting daily school traffic and to take advantage of the seasonal reduction in commuter traffic.

The current bridge was built in 1932 and is structurally deficient. Approximately 11,500 vehicles cross the bridge daily. The new structure is a four-cell box culvert that will be set in place in four sections after the old bridge is removed.

Drivers should check www.511virginia.org or the 511 mobile app for current traffic, travel and weather information and follow @VaDOTCULP on Twitter for updates.