Heidi Underwood 540-387-5493
Oct. 15, 2008
VDOT ASSEMBLES RESEARCH TEAM TO DETERMINE CAUSE OF PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE COLLAPSE IN GILES COUNTY
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has assembled a team of engineers and scientists to determine the cause of Sunday’s pedestrian bridge collapse over Walker Creek near Route 749 (Patterson Ford Road) in Giles County. Salem District bridge engineers have joined with VDOT’s research division, the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC), to gather information about why the bridge collapsed.
The VTRC is responsible for all research at VDOT, and is one of the nation’s leading transportation research centers.
“We are committed to determining the cause of this collapse as swiftly as possible. By using all the expertise available to us, we have assembled a team of top-notch engineers and researchers, who will ensure a thorough investigation,” said Salem District Administrator Richard Caywood, P.E.
On Sunday, Oct. 12, the Route 749 pedestrian bridge over Walker Creek in Giles County collapsed at about 2 p.m. The bridge is near Route 100 and Route 811 (Bane Road). Ten people were on the bridge at the time of the collapse. The bridge is a suspension-type pedestrian bridge that serves three homes and is primarily used during flooding.
The Route 749 pedestrian bridge was rebuilt in 1992 after portions of it were washed away by floodwaters. VDOT last inspected the bridge in May 2007 and found it to be in good condition. Like all bridges in Virginia, pedestrian bridges are inspected at least once every two years.
There are 12 suspension-type pedestrian bridges in Salem District. The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Franklin, Floyd, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski and Roanoke.
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