News briefs for Oct. 23

Rains delay bridge completion

Because of last week’s heavy rains, VDOT has delayed the completion of its replacement of the Resettlement Road bridge over the Jordan River until next Monday (Oct. 27).

The project on Route 659 started Oct. 6 and was to finish Oct. 22. It included replacing the structurally deficient timber-deck bridge with a concrete bridge capable of carrying all legal loads on the road, which VDOT says is used by 280 vehicles a day (according to a 2013 traffic count). A detour using Fodderstack and Dearing roads will remain in place until the bridge is done.

Park closes Skyline Drive at night

Shenandoah National Park Superintendent Jim Northup announced this week that, for the 34th year, portions of Skyline Drive will be closed at night during hunting season. He stressed the importance of this closure in reducing illegal hunting activity within the park during the Virginia hunting season outside the park in that it “enables rangers to concentrate patrols on problem areas and to increase contacts along the park boundary.”

From Nov. 10  through Jan. 4, Skyline Drive between Front Royal and Thornton Gap (at U.S. 211) and between Swift Run Gap (at U.S. 33) and Rockfish Gap (at U.S. 250) will be closed daily between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.  The portion of the Drive between Thornton Gap and Swift Run Gap will remain open for overnight access to Skyland Resort until Nov. 30. From Dec. 1 through Jan. 4, the entire length of Skyline Drive will be closed 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily.

Northup also reminded the public that the park will pay a reward “to anyone who furnishes information which leads to the conviction of any person who hunts, transports, or attempts to transport illegally taken wildlife within the park.” The identify of those reporting the information will be kept strictly confidential, and they do not need to give their name. To report illegal hunting, call the park at 800-732-0911 or 540-999-2227.

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