Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bridge Safety in Loudoun County

According to an article in today's Leesburg Today, nine bridges in Loudoun County are defined as structurally deficient, the same status of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed last week, but, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation all the bridges in Virginia that are open are safe for drivers.

The paper reports that of the nine structurally deficient bridges, five are also considered functionally obsolete, which the American Society of Engineers defines as bridges that have older designs not built to safely accommodate current traffic volumes, vehicle sizes and weights. AAA defines structurally deficient bridges as those requiring significant maintenance and repair to remain in service.

The five bridges that bear both warnings are: Featherbed Road over Catoctin Creek, Hughesville Road over Crooked Run, Forest Mills Road over a tributary of Crooked Run, Sunny Ridge Road over the south fork of Catoctin Creek and Snickersville Road over Beaverdam Creek, according to VDOT. Two of these five bridges-Sunny Ridge Road and Snickersville Road-have been closed; two others have warnings posted.

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