UPDATE, 1 p.m. July 31:Though the signs on 211 as of yesterday afternoon now say the bridge will be out Aug. 7-Sept. 18, the county administrator says he’s heard back from VDOT and the department hopes to have the work done in as little as four weeks (which would be Sept. 4).
A two-lane bridge scheduled for replacement by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) starting next week will likely cause some school bus route complications.
“I don’t see any way they’re going to get it done in a week,” said Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy on Tuesday, speaking of the Tiger Valley Road (Route 626) bridge over the Rush River, which is just a few hundred feet southeast of U.S. 211 near Washington.
McCarthy and the county supervisors had asked in the spring that the bridge replacement — which can take four or more weeks — be done during the summer months to avoid what McCarthy called the “massive rerouting” that would be necessary for the school system, since it’s the fastest paved route to the four-lane 211 for many paved and narrower winding unpaved roads between Washington and the Castleton/Woodville areas. At least three bus routes would be affected, he said.
Signs went up last week saying work would commence next Thursday (Aug. 7). Rappahannock County schools open six days later, on Aug. 13.
“It’s possible they could get it done in time,” said McCarthy, who earlier admitted to being “irked” that the signs on 211 were his first official notice that the job had been scheduled, and that his voicemails to VDOT’s Warrenton residency manager Mark Nesbitt had not yet been returned. “But that would mean no rain, no other weather-related delays, nothing bad happens elsewhere that they have to pull guys off this job to attend to . . .