Thursday, July 14, 2011

VDOT Closes Bridge on Airmont Road (Route 719)

Earlier today the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) closed the bridge carrying Airmont Road (Route 719) over Butcher’s Creek in Loudoun County after discovering severe erosion on the bridge’s structural steel beams during an annual inspection conducted earlier this week.

VDOT estimates that the bridge will re-open in early September.

“Fortunately, we already had plans to begin repairs on this bridge next month,” said VDOT bridge engineer Nicholas Roper. “The bridge closure was originally scheduled to close on August 1 but our inspection revealed that deterioration is to the point where the bridge had to be closed immediately.”

The bridge is classified as structurally deficient and has a weight restriction of eight tons. Structurally deficient means there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored and/or repaired. The fact that a bridge is deficient does not mean it is likely to collapse or that it is unsafe. It means that it must be monitored, inspected and maintained.

Rehabilitation will require closing Airmont Road to through traffic between Snickersville Turnpike and Ebeneezer Church Road (Route 779). The detour route for north-south traffic is Ebeneezer Church Road and Yellow Schoolhouse Road (Route 831). Detour signs have been posted.

The rehabilitation consists of replacing the existing superstructure with one that is virtually identical. Aesthetic enhancements are also being provided in the form of rusticated guardrail and an application of stain to the concrete below the deck.

The bridge carries about 855 vehicles per day and is located about 0.35 mi. south of Snickersville Turnpike. Federal stimulus funds are paying for the $580,000 project.

More information on bridge safety is available on VDOT’s website.

Photos courtesy of VDOT

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