VDOT exploring options

Published 10:29 am Friday, September 28, 2012

We were glad to hear that the Virginia Department of Transportation is evaluating its options for replacing the Route 35 bridge in Courtland.

It will be interesting to see what VDOT comes up with.

The 83-year-old bridge over the Nottoway River is scheduled for replacement in September 2013. Construction on a new $13.8 million is expected to take nearly two years. That’s a long time to cut off Courtland to the “rest of the world.”

A seven-mile detour is planned via Route 58 and Business Route 58, but it’s still believed the bridge’s closing will have an adverse economic impact on Courtland. There also are concerns for emergency workers, who will have to travel farther to respond to accidents, fires and medical calls.

We would assume construction of the bridge at a parallel location would be considered. But it’s also our understanding that would greatly increase construction and right-of-way costs.

The advantage, however, is that the old bridge could remain open during construction.

A public hearing scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18, on the matter has been postponed until mid-November at a date to be announced. Maybe by then we will hear what VDOT has to say.