Following a 16-month rehabilitation effort, the Chatham Bridge in Virginia reopened to vehicle traffic early this week, reconnecting the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County at the span over the Rapphannock River.
The Chatham Bridge had been closed to traffic since June 22, 2020, when a $23.4 million project started to improve the condition of the bridge, which opened in 1941.
The state of good repair maintenance project replaced the bridge deck and travel surface, and repaired the bridge approaches and substructure. Before the project, Chatham Bridge was posted with a 15-ton vehicle weight limit, which is now removed. Vehicles of all legal loads can again cross the bridge, including heavier-weight emergency response equipment, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
An average of 16,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily. While traffic can again travel over the bridge, construction will continue as scheduled through April 2022 to repair the bridge’s substructure, below the bridge deck.
Project contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. completed the superstructure repairs at an accelerated pace ahead of contract requirements to reopen the bridge to traffic as soon as possible, VDOT says.
The bridge’s new shared use path is now open. This nearly 10-ft-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists includes a scenic overlook of the Rappahannock River, and connects sidewalks in downtown Fredericksburg with the Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail in Stafford.
SOURCE: Virginia DOT