3 weeks early: VDOT to open rejuvenated Shadwell bridge
When the Virginia Department of Transportation contracts with Fairfield-Echols LLC, things happen. And fast.
VDOT proudly revealed Wednesday that the Fishersville-based firm is wrapping up a nearly $1.8 million set of repairs that had closed the bridge carrying U.S. 250 over the Buckingham Branch/CSX railroad tracks. Unavailable since May 1, the bridge will reopen on Friday the 15th, more than three weeks ahead of schedule.
Advance work that started last fall was conducted outside the travel lanes to minimize the disruption. Such work included newly-cast parapets and deck sections, efforts to minimize the down-time.
Although located in Albemarle County, the bridge has been of great interest in the City of Charlottesville because VDOT chose to save it. Meanwhile, Charlottesville officials– who control infrastructure within the city limits– have chosen to replace their much newer Belmont Bridge. The Shadwell bridge was built in 1939; the Belmont Bridge in 1962.
VDOT says that the formerly weight-restricted structure is now safe for all vehicles including school buses and emergency vehicles. Motorists can resume their old route across it after 9am Friday.