Coming Soon: Route 3 Business (Chatham Bridge) Bridge Superstructure Replacement

Cost and schedule ►

Public outreach ►

Preliminary engineering work is underway for a project to replace the superstructure of the Chatham Bridge, which is located on Route 3 Business and connects Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg. It spans the Rappahannock River. 

The four-lane bridge requires significant maintenance and a new superstructure to improve its condition. The project will remove the bridge's current posted weight limit, which is 21 tons for single unit vehicles and 26 tons for tractor-trailers. The current bridge was built in 1941 and carries 16,000 vehicles a day. 

This $22.2 million project will be funded by the State of Good Repair program, which funds improvements to deficient bridges and pavements across Virginia. 

The bridge will be closed to all traffic for approximately 16 months during construction. Signs posted along the detour route of Blue and Gray Parkway and Dixon Street will guide residents and visitors between downtown Fredericksburg and Stafford County.

Before the bridge is closed to traffic, improvements to the Dixon Street exit ramp will be completed. The ramp will be widened to create a longer right turn lane with more space to hold vehicles turning right at the ramp signal. 

Detour Route Map

New Project Schedule: March 2019 Update

The Virginia Department of Transportation is advancing the Chatham Bridge Rehabilitation Project to start construction sooner than originally scheduled.

Advertisement of the bridge rehabilitation project to potential bidders has been accelerated from its original date of October 2020 to early 2020, between January and March of 2020. 

Construction is now anticipated to begin in the later half of 2020, and the bridge will be closed to traffic over 16 months over a range from late 2020 to early 2022.   

This means the improved bridge and pedestrian path will open to motorists, walkers, bicyclists and runners nearly a year sooner, in early 2022 instead of late 2022. 

Work has been advanced due to more rapid deterioration of the bridge deck, which includes the travel surface. Even with pothole patching on a regular basis by VDOT crews, motorists are experiencing a rough ride crossing the bridge, especially in the eastbound right travel lane. 

VDOT crews will continue to perform routine spot maintenance to Chatham Bridge until construction begins.

The Chatham Bridge is safe for travel. The bridge received a full inspection in fall 2018. The bridge will continue to be inspected leading up to the beginning of the project. If there was any concern regarding the safety of the bridge, or an individual travel lane of the bridge, it would be closed to traffic immediately.

New Project Schedule: Fact Sheet


  • New path to be built on bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists, separated from traffic
  • Path includes scenic overlook area
  • Improves bridge condition with smoother ride for travelers


Phase: Preliminary engineering

Long/Lat: 38.304944, -77.456417

Locality: Fredericksburg and Stafford

Page last modified: Aug. 21, 2019