May 1, 2012
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has completed preparations for the closure of the Route 250 bridge at Shadwell. The bridge closed to traffic at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
During the closure eastbound traffic on Route 250 will be detoured onto Interstate 64 at Exit 124 (Shadwell) and back onto Route 250 at Exit 129 (Route 616/Black Cat Road). Westbound traffic will reverse the detour. The bridge will be closed for approximately ten weeks.
VDOT has modified the traffic movements at the interchange on Route 250 at I-64. Dual left-turn lanes from eastbound Route 250 onto eastbound I-64 will allow more vehicles to turn from Route 250 onto I-64 during peak traffic periods. Those vehicles will merge into one lane on the ramp before entering I-64.
The Virginia State Police and Albemarle County Police will assist with traffic control and direction at Exit 129 during high-volume periods.
"For the next ten weeks there will be officers here during the busy hours of the day - in the mornings and the evenings - to assist motorists around this enclosure," said Todd Lytton, an officer in the Albemarle County Police Department Traffic Unit.
In addition, VDOT will monitor traffic conditions using several temporary traffic cameras and also provide traffic updates using the permanent message boards on I-64 as well as several temporary message boards along Route 250.
The bridge is undergoing extensive restoration work that requires its closure for 10 weeks. During the closure the entire bridge deck will be replaced. After the project is complete the bridge will open to all traffic, including heavy trucks. All private and commercial entrances on both sides of the bridge will remain open during the closure.
The bridge, which was built in 1939, carries 15,000 vehicles per day. Several recent inspections have determined that the bridge is significantly deteriorated; due to its condition it is inspected every six months. In March 2011 it was posted for a 15-ton maximum vehicle weight, which bans heavy vehicles including most fire trucks.
Work on the restoration project began last fall by Fairfield-Echols LLC, of Fishersville, Va., which was awarded the $1,788,671.20 contract by VDOT. The contractor has been working through the winter outside the travel lanes to complete as much work as possible before the closure.
Recognizing the closure presents an inconvenience for those using the bridge, the project contract contains a substantial incentive payment to the contractor if the work is completed and the bridge reopened in less than 70 days. Likewise there is a penalty for each day the bridge remains closed past the 70-day limit.
For updated information about the project’s status visit the Route 250 Bridge at Shadwell project page on VDOT’s website.