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Under Construction

Alleghany County -- Route 638 (Natural Well Road)

Jackson River Bridge Replacement

Area Maps

Project Photos
Project at a Glance
Begin Date
Construction contract awarded January 30, 2018

Est Completion Date
Summer 2019

Contract Value $2,093,660.06

Lengths and Limits
About 0.3 mile, from Route 687 to 0.5 mile east of Route 666

Hammond-Mitchell Inc., Covington, Va.



Wayne Nolde, P.E.

Project Details

The purpose of this project is to replace the existing bridge on Route 638 (Natural Well Road) over the Jackson River.

The existing single-lane bridge was built in Covington in 1913 and moved to this location in 1955. The existing bridge is about 245 feet long, 14 feet wide and has a posted weight limit of 14 tons. The condition of the structure qualifies it as a candidate for federal funds for replacement.   

The new bridge will have two travel lanes with 3-foot shoulders to better accommodate bicycle traffic. The overall width of the structure will be roughly 26 feet.

The new bridge will be built predominately along the same right of way as the existing one. Hoover Creek meets the Jackson River very close to the upstream side of the bridge, so all widening will take place on the downstream side.  

Route 638 is about one mile long, connecting Route 666 (East Morris Hill Road) and Route 687 (Jackson River Road). In 2010 the average daily traffic count was 212 vehicles per day. Predictions for the year 2036 are 313 vehicles per day.

During the design phase, the total cost of this project was estimated at $3.1 million, which includes $400,000 for preliminary engineering, $72,000 for right of way acquisition and $2.6 million for construction.

Key Dates

Adopt Location/Design – Summer 2014
Authorize Right of Way Funds – Fall 2015
Construction – Early Spring 2018 to Summer 2019

Media and Public Events

Design Public Hearing
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 4-6 p.m.

Falling Spring Presbyterian Church
115 Spring Church Road
Hot Springs, Va. 24445

(Original public hearing date was postponed due to inclement weather.)

Benefits of Project

This project replaces an aging bridge on a state route that serves county residents. If not replaced the existing bridge will continue to deteriorate and would eventually have to be closed to vehicular traffic. A prolonged closure of the existing structure would inconvenience local residents with a 8-mile-long detour route.

During Construction

The bridge will be closed during construction. A detour will be provided and marked with signs.  There are four properties along Route 638 east of the Jackson River, along with a small number of homes west of the river which will be impacted by the bridge closure and detour. Motorists will be able to access all of these properties from the appropriate side of the work zone.

Traffic Alerts

Route 638 is closed for construction through summer 2019. Signs guide motorists on a roughly 8-mile detour.

Traffic updates can be found on the VDOT website under Travel Center, Travel advisories and lane closures. Click on the area of the state you are interested in, and view current travel advisories and lane closures. Click here to go to the Staunton District Travel Center page:  Staunton District

Real-time traffic information is available on the VDOT website and also by calling 511 on your landline or wireless phone.  Click here to go to 511:  Virginia 511 Web


The VDOT Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton.


Project Numbers

State:  0638-003-615,P101, R201, C501, B633
Federal:  BROS-638-8(003), BROS-638-8(004), BROS-638-8
(005), BROS-638-8(005)
UPC:  88564

Project Location (latitude, longitude): 37.917500, -79.968056

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Page last modified: July 2, 2018