Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Lee Catlin, Albemarle County 434-296-5841 (office), 434-531-8092 (cell)
March 13, 2012
VDOT, ALBEMARLE CO. PLAN FOR RT. 250 BRIDGE CLOSURE
Public outreach begins in preparation for 10-week shutdown in early May
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Albemarle County are coordinating a public outreach effort to inform motorists of the upcoming closure of the Route 250 bridge at Shadwell.
The bridge is undergoing extensive rehabilitation work that will require its complete closure for 10 weeks beginning in early May. During the closure the entire bridge deck will be replaced. After the project is completed the bridge will open to all traffic, including heavy trucks. All private and commercial entrances on both sides of the bridge will remain open during the closure.
The bridge, which was built in 1939, carries 15,000 vehicles per day. Several recent inspections have determined that the bridge is significantly deteriorated; due to its condition it is inspected every six months. In March 2011 it was posted for a 15-ton maximum vehicle weight, which excludes many heavy vehicles, including many fire trucks.
Work on the rehabilitation project began last fall by Fairfield-Echols LLC, of Fishersville, Va. Fairfield-Echols was awarded the $1,788,671.20 contract by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The contractor has been working through the winter outside the travel lanes to complete as much work as possible before the closure.
Recognizing the closure presents a substantial inconvenience for those using the bridge, the project contract contains a substantial incentive payment to the contractor if the work is completed and the bridge reopened in less than 70 days. Likewise there is a penalty for each day the bridge remains closed past the 70-day limit.
During the closure westbound traffic will be detoured onto Interstate 64 at Exit 129 (Route 616/Black Cat Road) and back onto Route 250 at Exit 124 (Shadwell). Eastbound traffic will reverse the detour.
VDOT will expand the capacity of the entrance ramp from Route 250 east onto I-64 east at Shadwell to allow more vehicles to turn from Route 250 east onto I-64 east during peak traffic periods. That location was identified during traffic studies done in preparation for the closure. Police will be assigned to assist the traffic flow at Exit 129 during high-volume periods. VDOT will monitor traffic conditions using several temporary traffic cameras and also provide traffic updates using the permanent message boards on I-64 as well as several temporary message boards along Route 250.
The Albemarle County Police Department and Albemarle Fire-Rescue are among the county agencies working closely with VDOT to ensure that services are not disrupted during the closure. The Albemarle County Public Schools are also involved due to the effect on school transportation routes. VDOT and Albemarle County are reaching out to nearby communities and businesses to make sure they are aware of the upcoming closure and can make plans to adjust their activities.
More information about the closure will continue to be released in coming weeks. For updated information about the project’s status visit the Route 250 Bridge at Shadwell project page on VDOT’s web site.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.