VDOT News - Fredericksburg



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

Darragh Frye 540-899-4119
(540) 907-8409 cell


June 10, 2021

Route 223 (Old Ferry Road) is open to vehicle traffic between mainland Mathews County and Gwynn’s Island, but the bridge’s swing span is closed for marine openings until further notice

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Route 223 (Old Ferry Road) bridge over Milford Haven between Gwynn’s Island and mainland Mathews County is closed for marine openings until further notice.

There is no impact to vehicle traffic.

Mechanical equipment that operates the bridge’s movable swing span experienced a failure Wednesday evening. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews responded to the bridge to attempt an immediate repair, and have determined that additional work will be required.

Additional information on the repair timeline will be announced once more is known about the extent of the work and repair required. No estimated schedule for reopening is currently available.

“We know that summer is a busy time on the water, and we regret that mariners that operate larger boats will not have direct access to reach the Piankatank River and Chesapeake Bay,” said Joyce McGowan, VDOT Fredericksburg District Maintenance Administrator. “We are working urgently to assess the bridge equipment to determine next steps, and we will announce more information as soon as we develop a plan to repair.”

Built in 1938, the bridge over Milford Haven opens to marine traffic more than any other state-maintained movable bridge in Virginia. It opens approximately 3,000 times a year.

The bridge’s navigational clearance is 11 feet vertically and 80 feet horizontally when closed. Watercraft that cannot navigate underneath the bridge within this clearance requires an opening.


Mariners can check 511Virginia for real-time updates on the bridge status for marine traffic. 511Virginia is available at 511virginia.org, through the free mobile 511Virginia app for smartphone and mobile devices, and by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.

Beginning next week, updates will also be posted on changeable message boards that will be posted on Route 223 and at a visible place for watercraft in Milford Haven.


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: May 19, 2023