Route 35 bridge to close in January
Published 11:19 am Saturday, December 20, 2014
The Virginia Department of Transportation will be closing the Route 35 bridge over the Nottoway River outside of Courtland on Monday, Jan. 5, as part of a year-long improvement project. The department deemed the bridge structurally deficient and weight restricted in the summer of 2012. Once construction is started, the bridge will remain closed until completion in fall of 2015.
A seven-mile detour is planned for the Darden Memorial Bridge via Route 58 and Business Route 58, and signs will be in place to direct traffic around the closure. The $13 million project was one of several different courses of action for VDOT, but something that had to happen according to Jerusalem District Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards.
“We needed to have a new bridge,” he said.
Edwards did not vote for approval of the project, however, as he felt that VDOT could have found a way to keep the bridge open during construction.
“They are doing it the easiest way by closing the bridge,” he said.
Alternative options brought to the table included building a temporary bridge while the new bridge was being built — increasing the price tag by $9 million — building a new bridge next to the old bridge or simply repairing the 85-year-old bridge.
Waterfront Marine Construction Inc. will handle the reconstruction, widening the roadway with 12’ lanes and 8’ shoulders. Additionally, the concrete structure will have a clearance of 26’ above mean high water.
VDOT will continue to update the public as construction progresses and will alert drivers when the bridge re-opens via their project page at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/hamptonroads/rte35bridge.asp.