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Route 522, Sperryville

Replacement of the bridge over Thornton River

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
March 26, 2012

Est Completion Date
Scheduled completion Aug. 27, 2012; actual completion Sept. 15, 2012


$2.3 million ($1.02 million construction contract)

Lengths and Limits
0.08 mile; from Route 1002 to Route 211

Fielder's Choice Enterprises, Inc., of Charlottesville



Wade Smith

Project Purpose

Replacement of the superstructure of the bridge over the Thornton River on Route 522 in the village of Sperryville. The current bridge is a steel truss structure that was built in 1929 and is in deteriorating condition. The bridge carries an average of 3,590 vehicles per day (2007 count) with 88 percent four-wheel vehicles and 12 percent truck traffic.

What is Proposed?

The bridge borders the historic district in the village of Sperryville, which is an active and historic community. Previous projects in this area have included significant public involvement and coordination with the community. For this project VDOT requested comments and guidance from the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors prior to the project scoping. The guidance included:

  • The bridge aesthetics should be similar to the existing structure
  • The project should result in a long-term solution for the river crossing
  • The bridge should remain in the current location
  • The existing bicycle and pedestrian river crossing just downstream of the bridge should remain rather than relocated onto the new bridge
  • Route 522 can be closed during construction

The proposed replacement structure is a steel truss design that is in keeping with the current structure but is built to current standards. Using a steel truss will also expedite construction. The new bridge will have a 28-foot-wide roadway; the roadway approaches will be widened to match the bridge width. The approaches will be protected with guardrail. The steel will have a galvanized finish that will have a longer life than the existing painted steel.

The existing bridge abutments will be rehabilitated and the new steel truss set atop those abutments.

Road Closure and Detours

VDOT will close the Route 522 bridge beginning April 30.

The bridge is expected to be closed for three months while its superstructure is removed, the abutments are rehabilitated and a new superstructure constructed. The new bridge will be similar in appearance to the current structure, with a steel truss superstructure and a concrete bridge deck widened to 28 feet to meet current design standards. The pavement on the approaches to the bridge will also be widened to match the bridge deck.

Route 522 will be closed from its intersection with Route 1002 (Water Street) to Route 211 (Lee Highway). During the closure, cars and small trucks will be detoured around the bridge on Route 1001 (Main Street) through Sperryville. 

Large trucks and other commercial vehicles will be detoured onto alternate routes that avoid Sperryville. Signs advising of the alternate truck routes will be posted on Route 522 and Route 211 approximately one month before the closure. The message boards will be located well before the approach to Sperryville to give drivers of large vehicles ample notice of the need to use an alternate route.

The closure will save approximately $975,000 and six months of construction time.

Project Schedule

Design Public Hearing: March 24, 2010

Public Comment Ends: April 3, 2010

Right of Way and Utility Relocation Begins: Spring 2011

Construction Begins: March 26, 2012

Bridge Closes: April 30 - August 27


Project Cost

Total cost: $2,335,932

Engineering and design: $290,464

Right of way and utility relocation: $291,974

Construction: $1,753,494

Project Information and News Releases

Public hearing brochure (617 KB)

Rendering of proposed bridge (3 MB)

VDOT Plans to Replace Route 522 Bridge in Sperryville (40 KB)

Contractor to Start Work on Sperryville Bridge

Sperryville Bridge Closure Begins April 30

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Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012