VDOT News - Fredericksburg



Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344
540-656-0321 cell


June 18, 2020

Starting at 5 a.m. Monday, Route 3 Business traffic will be detoured through October 2021 for project to improve bridge linking Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. Travelers are reminded that the Route 3 Business bridge over the Rappahannock River, also known as Chatham Bridge, will close to traffic for an improvement project beginning on Monday, June 22.  

The bridge connecting Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg will close to traffic at approximately 5 a.m. Monday.

At that time, detour signs will be unveiled to guide motorists along the posted detour route:

  • Route 3 Business
  • Blue & Gray Parkway
  • Dixon Street
  • Charles Street

For vehicles taller than 13 feet, 6 inches, the posted detour route will be:

  • Route 3 Business
  • Blue & Gray Parkway
  • William Street

The Chatham Bridge is scheduled to reopen in October 2021. The $23.4 million rehabilitation project by the Virginia Department of Transportation (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.

Traffic Pattern Changes at Route 1, Hanson Avenue in Fredericksburg

During the Chatham Bridge project, there will be no change for traffic traveling on Route 1 over Falmouth Bridge into downtown Fredericksburg. 

Vehicles on Route 1 southbound crossing Falmouth Bridge can continue to turn left onto Princess Anne Street to downtown Fredericksburg. Vehicles on Route 1 northbound can continue to turn right onto Princess Anne Street toward the downtown area. 

But, with additional traffic expected to use Route 1 and the Falmouth Bridge during the Chatham Bridge closure, several changes will be made, which mostly affect travel on Hanson Avenue.

Due to a city utility project on Caroline Street, VDOT has adjusted the detour plan for Hanson Avenue traffic.

The following traffic pattern changes will be in effect on Monday, June 22:

  • Access to Caroline Street under the Falmouth Bridge is temporarily closed for the city utility project. Any northbound travelers that would have previously used Riverside Drive or Hanson Avenue to reach Route 1 north will be detoured to Fall Hill Avenue.
  • Hanson Avenue traffic in Fredericksburg approaching the Route 1 intersection will be limited to right turns onto Route 1 southbound only. Due to the utility work on Caroline Street, Hanson Avenue traffic seeking to reach Princess Anne Street or Route 1 northbound will be detoured to use Fall Hill Avenue.
  • Route 1 northbound traffic will be prohibited from turning left onto Hanson Avenue. However, Route 1 northbound traffic at the intersection can continue to proceed straight to cross Falmouth Bridge, and turn right onto Princess Anne Street.
  • A new traffic signal will be activated at the Princess Anne Street ramp to Route 1 northbound and Falmouth Bridge. The signal will allow for free-flowing right turns onto Route 1 northbound from Princess Anne Street during a green signal.

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, which will allow the removal of the current 15-ton vehicle weight limit posting on the bridge.

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.

Stay Updated

Get the information you need to get around while improvements are underway. Construction updates and project materials are available online at virginiadot.org/chathambridge.

Other project information resources:

  • Visit the City of Fredericksburg's Chatham Bridge page at fxbgbridge.com
  • Visit Stafford County's road projects page

Follow VDOT Fredericksburg District on Twitter at @VaDOTFRED.

On Facebook, join our VDOT Fredericksburg District Group page.


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: Oct. 6, 2021