Map of construction project districts

Recently Completed

Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville

Replacement of the bridge over Norfolk Southern Railroad

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
April 2011

Est Completion Date
Sept. 24, 2012

Cost
$11.7 million ($5.8 million construction award)

Lengths and Limits
From intersection of Jefferson Park Ave. and JPA Extended to intersection of JPA Extended and Stribling Ave.

Contractor
R.R. Dawson Bridge Co., LLC, Lexington, Ky.

Locality
Charlottesville

District
Culpeper

Contact
Culpeper Communications
540-727-3201

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To receive updates about the project, send an email to jpabridge@vdot.virginia.gov.

Project Purpose

Replacement of the bridge that spans the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks just east of the intersection of Jefferson Park Avenue and Fontaine Avenue in the city of Charlottesville.

The existing bridge is restricted to a eight-ton weight limit, which prohibits emergency vehicles including fire trucks and ambulances from crossing. The bridge, which is 99 feet long and 28 feet wide, was built in 1932 and has an extremely low sufficiency rating and is in overall poor condition. 

What is Proposed?

The new structure will be 67 feet wide and built to current design standards. The width will accommodate bike lanes and pedestrian walkways that will improve access and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling between the Fry's Spring neighborhood/Jefferson Park Avenue Extended and the JPA and University of Virginia communities. Pedestrian access will also be maintained with Todd Avenue. 

The bridge has been designed in cooperation with Norfolk Southern railroad to federal, state and railroad standards and will allow room for an additional track and increased vertical clearance for trains using the corridor.

Pedestrian and bicycle access across the railroad tracks will be maintained during construction using a temporary bridge built next to the construction area. Motorized vehicles will not be able to cross the bridge during construction. Signs advising that the bridge is closed will be posted on Harris Street, Old Lynchburg Road and other nearby roads.

This project is being funded using federal, state and urban allocations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why will construction take 17 months to complete?
The JPA project is a complete bridge replacement, and is complex work involving the relocation of utilities, building of a temporary pedestrian bridge, demolition of the old bridge and construction of the new.  All of this is being accomplished in a tight work zone, with businesses and residences very close by, while maintaining pedestrian and bicycle access throughout construction.

The main factor in the construction schedule is the train activity under the bridge—on average, 10 trains per day. For safety, VDOT must stop work and move cranes and other equipment away from the tracks each time a train passes. A railroad flagger is on-site at all times to coordinate the train schedule with the construction crew. The passage of trains can cut up to several hours out of the work day.

Will pedestrians and cyclists have access during construction?
Due to the high volume of foot and bicycle traffic at this site, continuous access is a priority. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists are being routed to the southbound side of JPA Extended until a temporary bridge can be completed next to the construction area. VDOT has made an accommodation for cyclists to use the left turn lane on JPA in order to have safer turning access onto JPA Extended. The turn lane remains closed to motor vehicles. Once the temporary bridge is complete, pedestrians and cyclists should be prepared for a route modification.

Why are Todd and Robertson Avenues closed at JPA Extended?
These road closures are necessary to ensure a safe and adequately sized workspace, free of motor vehicle traffic, for construction equipment and materials and proper access for delivery trucks. Both roads will remain accessible from the east at Hill Street. Currently, construction signs are in place on both roads to notify drivers. VDOT will place additional road closure signage on both roads at their intersections with Hill Street to prevent through traffic from entering.

Will Todd Avenue re-open upon completion of the bridge replacement?
No, the western end of Todd Avenue will not re-open to vehicles; instead, it will dead-end just before JPA Extended. Staircases and a wheelchair-accessible ramp will provide pedestrian and bicycle access to JPA Extended. A vehicle turn-around and parking for residents of the duplex at 2202 Jefferson Park Ave. will be situated at the dead end.

Are the businesses on the corner of JPA and Fontaine Avenue accessible?
Regular access to parking along JPA Extended is blocked off due to the construction. However, motorists may use a driveway at the rear of the businesses to reach a secondary parking area. VDOT will place “Business Access” signage to point drivers in the proper direction.

Where can observers go to see progress on the bridge?
It is safe to observe the construction work from a distance only. Along the pedestrian path, observers are asked to keep moving for safety and to allow others to pass through unimpeded. Motorized vehicles, to include mopeds and motorcycles, are not to be operated in the pedestrian path. Absolutely no trespassing allowed after hours.

Links

News release: VDOT Completes JPA Bridge, Jarmans Gap Road Improvements, Sept. 21, 2012

The Daily Progress: Mulberry Ave. will temporarily become one-way
Travel will only be allowed eastbound, from Highland Avenue to Shamrock Road.

News Release: CTB Awards Jefferson Park Avenue Bridge Project

News Release: Jefferson Park Avenue Closure Set for April 4 Adobe Acrobat PDF (36 KB)

Rendering of JPA Bridge Design Adobe Acrobat PDF (11 MB)

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Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012