VDOT News - Fredericksburg



Darragh Frye 540-899-4119


Aug. 13, 2020

River traffic will be prohibited from traveling underneath the bridge from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19 and Thursday, Aug. 20 to allow crews to remove bridge beams

AUGUST 19, 2020 UPDATE: Rappahannock River traffic will be allowed to pass underneath the Chatham Bridge on Thursday, Aug. 20. No bridge beam removal will be underway over the river tomorrow, as crews relocate a crane. Next week, river traffic will be prohibited from passing underneath the Chatham Bridge on Wednesday, Aug. 26 and Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Weather permitting, crews anticipate completing beam removal over the river channel on those days.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Rappahannock River traffic will not be permitted to travel underneath the Chatham Bridge during two days next week to allow crews to remove bridge beams as part of a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project.

River traffic will be prohibited from passing underneath the bridge from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19 and Thursday, Aug. 20, weather permitting. Chatham Bridge is located on Route 3 Business between the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County.

Warning signs and buoys will be in place to guide river traffic. Additionally, a crew member will be posted in a boat upstream to alert and stop river users approaching the work zone during the closures.

River traffic is encouraged to exit the water before the Chatham Bridge area. Paddlers will not be able to anchor in any way near the work zone during the river closures.

Chatham Bridge closed to traffic on June 22, 2020, and is scheduled to reopen in October 2021. The $23.4 million rehabilitation project underway by VDOT and project contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. is needed to improve the bridge’s condition and remove the existing 15-ton vehicle weight limit. The project will also enhance pedestrian access.

All recreational traffic, on the river and on pedestrian trails, is encouraged to obey all signs and warnings in the construction work zone.

Project Background

When the improved Chatham Bridge opens in October 2021, it will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with a separate shared-use path that is nearly 10 feet wide. The bridge path will connect with existing sidewalks in downtown Fredericksburg and Stafford County’s Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail. A scenic overlook will provide a refuge for pedestrians to stop at the bridge midpoint. New light posts will be installed, and new bridge railings will keep the distinctive open view of the Rappahannock River. View a simulation video of the new bridge.

The project will replace the bridge deck and travel surface and will make repairs to the bridge approaches and supporting elements in the substructure.

Final construction activities will continue after the bridge has reopened to traffic, and the contractor has until April 2022 to complete all work. The impact to traffic after the bridge reopens will be limited. Only periodic single-lane closures, scheduled at off-peak times, are anticipated to be needed. 

The Chatham Bridge opened to traffic in 1941. It carries an average of 16,000 vehicles a day.


Motorists can find real-time information on lane closures, work zones, traffic and other incidents on 511Virginia.

Download the free mobile 511Virginia app for Apple and Android devices to stay connected, or visit www.511Virginia.org. Motorists also can reach 511Virginia by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.


VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District includes the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford in the Fredericksburg area; Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster and Westmoreland counties in the Northern Neck; Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties in the Middle Peninsula.

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Aug. 19, 2020