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County opens $9M judicial center

The new Westmoreland County Judicial Center — a facility that has been in the planning stages for 25...

Longtime educator takes over at W&L High School

Longtime educator takes over at W&L High School

When Dashan Turner was a boy growing up in a small town in Mississippi, one of his teachers told him...

Montross council productive July meeting

On July 22, Montross Town Council quickly took care of electing officers for the new fiscal year. R....

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Parker Farms, headquartered near Oak Grove with 2,000 acres of produce growing along the Rappahannoc...

“Bridge Closed” signs up on Rt 205

“Bridge Closed” signs were posted this week on State Route 205 in Westmoreland County as the Virgini...

14-year-old equipment endangering lives

Oak Grove VFD Chief Mike Gutridge recently advised that he is very concerned about the decaying cond...

 

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A New Bridge For Mattox Creek

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will be replacing the Route 205 (James Monroe Highway) bridge over Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County this summer. VDOT Communications Manager Kelly Hannon said in an email on Thursday, Feb. 6, that work on the project is scheduled to begin in July.

Hannon explained in her email, “The bridge is considered a structurally deficient bridge, which means that one or more elements of the bridge – bridge deck, substructure, or superstructure – received a rating of ‘4’ or below on the 9-point bridge scale. During the last inspection in September, the bridge deck received a ‘4’ rating, which is ‘poor’. The substructure received a ‘5’ rating of ‘fair’, and the superstructure received a rating of ‘6’, which is ‘satisfactory’.”

In addition, Hannon explains that “structurally deficient” means that there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored and/or repaired. The fact that a bridge is rated “deficient” does not imply that it is likely to collapse, or that it is unsafe. It means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and maintained.

Built in 1930, the Mattox Creek Bridge is inspected annually, with its last inspection in September 2013. The bridge currently consists of two 11-foot travel lanes and shoulders of varying widths. The estimated $7.3 million replacement bridge will be considerably wider, with two 12-foot travel lanes and two 10-foot shoulders. Preliminary engineering, right-of-way acquisitions, utility relocation and construction are all factored in to reach the estimated cost of $7.3 million.

In order to minimize traffic disruptions, VDOT plans to install a traffic light to guide traffic alternating in one lane and will construct the new bridge in phases. The portion of the bridge remaining open during construction will continue to be inspected annually, according to VDOT.
Hannon writes that motorists will observe visible construction at the project site beginning in mid-summer 2014, and construction will continue through the summer of 2016. One lane of traffic on the bridge will be open for the vast majority of the project. Temporary traffic signals will be placed on either side of the bridge so that traffic from both directions can take turns crossing Mattox Creek.

Hannon also said in her email, “Several elements of the project will require the brief, complete closure of the bridge from periods of time, ranging from a few days to a week in length. These operations (including the initial installation of temporary traffic signals and as asphalt paving begins) can’t be safely performed directly next to traffic. We will provide a detour route and provide the public advance notifications when these work activities are scheduled.”

VDOT has advertised replacement of the bridge on Route 205 over Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County to bidders and is currently open to receiving bids on the project. Hannon said, “We expect the project will be awarded to the winning bidder this spring.”

In addition, VDOT will hold a “Pardon Our Dust” public meeting in the Westmoreland area as they draw closer to the start of construction. The meeting will help the public to learn more about how the project will affect travel and give them an opportunity to meet the construction team that will be working on the project.

Hannon concluded, “We are eager to begin this replacement project this summer, and deliver a new bridge for the Westmoreland and Colonial Beach community that will endure for decades.”

To keep abreast of the latest details or changes to the project, you can access the bridge’s project page by typing “Mattox Creek Bridge” into the search box at www.virginiadot.org. Click on the first link that appears. Or, you can call Kelly Hannon at (540) 374-3344.

—Linda Farneth

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