VDOT closer to new bridge

Published 9:33 am Friday, June 28, 2013


CARRSVILLE—While replacing the Darden Bridge on Carrsville Highway won’t cost Isle of Wight residents any loose change, the residents and passersby are looking at detours ranging from 15 to 18 months.

The public learned these details and more when the Virginia Department of Transportation hosted an informal public hearing Tuesday at Carrsville Elementary School. Department representatives, designers and engineers were available to answer residents’ questions and concerns.

The bridge, which has been around for close to 100 years, is described as “structurally deficient” in VDOT’s project overview, which was described in brochures given to the public. Further, the purpose for replacement is “to improve the safety clearance of the railroad crossing underneath Carrsville Highway. The proposed bridge will be raised to accommodate the required clearance impacting the vertical alignment of the roadway.”

The replacement will have two 12-foot lanes, a 4-foot median and 10-foot shoulders (8-feet paved). The roadside ditches will be improved and land designed to treat storm water run-off.

The project cost is so far tallied at $4.71 million, which includes $3.39 million for the construction; $736,816 for utility relocation, right of way acquisition and relocation assistance; and $650,000 for engineering of roadway plans.

The money would come from 80 percent federal money and 20 percent state funds in a partnership program, according to Wali Zaman, project manager.

Right-of-way activities are tentatively scheduled to begin next April, and construction could start in March 2016.

“My feeling is that Carrsville residents realize the bridge needs replacing,” said Rex Alphin, the supervisor for the Carrsville district. “I think everybody recognizes that

it’s a needed project, but are concerned about the inconvenience of detours.”

He added that the planned detour routes look good.

“Most people are accepting and probably looking forward to having a bridge safer than what we have now,” Alphin said.

He commended VDOT for being open about the project and coming out and talking to people.

“Comments were generally positive and reflected citizens’ acknowledgement that the bridge is in need of replacement,” said Kristopher Purzycki, VDOT’s public information officer.