Bridge update

Update: In a July 28 email to the county administrator, a VDOT spokesman now says the bridge will be closed into September, and also that scheduled repairs this summer to the Route 624 (Sunnyside Orchard Road) bridge will be delayed because of the North Poes Road repairs.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) today closed a bridge on Route 637 (North Poes Road) in Rappahannock County after damage was discovered during a scheduled inspection. The bridge, which crosses the Jordan River four-tenths of a mile north of Route 640 (Crest Hill Road), will remain closed until repairs can be made.

The annual inspection found significant deterioration in several of the beams that support the deck of the steel truss, timber deck structure. The bridge, which was built in 1935, is posted for an 11-ton weight limit and is inspected every 12 months due to its condition.

VDOT is now working to identify the best method to make repairs, which are expected to take two to three weeks. The bridge will remain closed until those repairs are made.

VDOT’s bridge program has an aggressive bridge inspection and safety program which goes beyond federal requirements. Inspections of the state’s 20,800 bridges and other structures are done in accordance with National Bridge Inspection Standards by qualified inspectors. The agency inspects all of its bridges at least once every two years unless there are issues due to age, deterioration, bridge damage or other concerns; in those cases more frequent inspections are done.

For more information about Virginia’s bridges and VDOT’s bridge inspection program, including current conditions of the state’s bridges, FAQs and video of a bridge inspection, visit www.virginiadot.org/info/Bridge.asp.

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