- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 14:59
- Published on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 14:59
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The 58-year-old Prospect Bridge on state Route 621 is going to be replaced. No construction dates have been established, but Virginia Department of Transportation has announced its intention to conduct an informational session on Wednesday, March 30.
Billed as a public hearing, the session will run 4-7 p.m. in A.T. Johnson auditorium. Residents will be able to review the proposed project plans and the National Environmental Policy Act documentation.
During the March 30 hearing and informational session, private citizens will have an opportunity to deliver oral or written comments on the bridge replacement project.
The deadline for contributing input is April 13, 2011.
During this Monday’s Westmoreland County Planning Commission meeting, Zoning Administrator Robert Fink alerted members of VDOT’s intention to move forward with the Prospect Bridge replacement project.
Fink noted that the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan supports the project. “It’s not a good condition bridge,” Fink told the commissioners.
According to Fink, the replacement bridge will be constructed in the same location as the 1953 structure, necessitating a detour that may affect delivery of emergency services for an undisclosed duration. Fink additionally advised that construction dates have not yet been established.
A Jan. 14, 2011, Department of Transportation web posting cites the allocation of $482,325 to support the Prospect Bridge replacement project.
Additional information was gleaned from a Virginia Department of Historic Resources Reconnaissance Level Survey document that lists the condition of the bridge as “poor.”
“VDOT Bridge #6005 carries Prospect Hill Road over the Nomini Creek in the southeastern portion of Westmoreland County,” the narrative begins.
“The bridge is a typical stringer/multi-steel beam structure with a concrete deck. The design is a typical bridge design used across the Commonwealth during the mid-twentieth century. The bridge is 424 feet long and 24 feet wide and currently has a sufficiency rating of 44.0/100.
“[In 1953] the concrete bridge replaced a wooden bridge that was set on pilings. During the construction of the current bridge, the alignment of the Route 621 approaches were shifted to the east.”
On Jan. 19, 2011, VDOT Environmental Specialist John Chiles advised County Administrator Norm Risavi of recent efforts to move the project forward, evaluating the environmental impacts of the proposed replacement.
“In accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal and state laws, environmental studies assessing the project’s potential impacts will be documented in Categorical Exclusion for this project,” Chiles wrote.
“The proposed project is intended to replace a structurally deficient bridge that has a rating of 44.9 out of 100. The bridge approaches will be widened to two 11-foot travel lanes and two 3-foot shoulders.
“The proposed bridge will be 470 feet long and 33 feet wide and on the same general horizontal and vertical alignment. Approach work will be minimal, and no more than 800 feet on each side of the bridge.
“VDOT is proposing to close this bridge during construction, requiring traffic to detour on alternative routes with an estimated detour of 6.8 miles.”