Under Construction: Rockingham County – Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) Bridge over Interstate 81

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This project is located on Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) in the area of the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County line. The bridge over Interstate 81 will be replaced with a new structure. The current bridge was built in 1960 and has reached the end of its service life.

The proposed bridge will be constructed in the existing bridge location but will be approximately three feet higher. The bridge will have two through lanes and five-foot shoulders. The intersection of Route 720 and Buffalo Drive will be improved to connect with the increased elevation of Smithland Road.

There will be a detour in place when Route 720 is closed to construct the new bridge and approaches. Buffalo Drive will be closed at the Route 720 intersection to through traffic for some portion of the construction. It is estimated that the detour will be in place for about one year. During bridge construction, I-81 closures will be necessary to set beams. Any closures on I-81 would be conducted at night to minimize the impact to traffic.

In 2011 Route 720 had an average daily traffic count of 4,100 vehicles per day.  By the design year of 2039 the estimated average daily traffic volume is 6,610 vehicles per day.

Construction began in summer 2022.


This project enhances safety on Route 720 by replacing a deteriorating bridge structure with a new bridge that is able to support modern traffic both in volume and vehicle weights. The height of the new bridge increases vehicle clearance for I-81 traffic.


UPC: 97112

State ID: 0720-082-751,P101, R201, C501, B684

Lat/Long: 38.452778, -78.834722

Locality: Rockingham

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Removal of Existing Route 720 Bridge - February 2023

Page last modified: Feb. 24, 2023