No Firetrucks on Proffit Bridge

The new Proffit Rd. bridge isn’t strong enough to bear the weight of firetrucks, Jeremy Borden wrote in yesterday’s Progress, and the Stony Point Fire Department isn’t particularly happy about it.

Stony Point’s two trucks weigh 15.5 and 16.5 tons, while the bridge can bear just 12 tons of weight. Stony Point is not the primary responder to that area — Charlottesville and Earlysville can get there as quickly as Stony Point — but a three-alarm fire may well require Stony Point to show up. Thing is, the old bridge was only rated at 15 tons (15 < 15.5), and that was dropped to 12 tons a year and a half ago. Jeremy Borden was kind enough to provide some more detail via e-mail. It seems that the Stony Point Fire Department, back when it was being run by arsonists, figured that the bridge would hold twice the posted limit, so they just went ahead and drove over it. When the adults took over in 2002 they brought a stop to that and began seeking an official blessing to use the bridge.

So, nothing has changed, but this does seem like a good example of what can happen when development patterns don’t respect the realities of existing infrastructure and resources. The county shouldn’t provide building permits to structures on the west side of that bridge that could have fires so severe that they’d require a prompt response from Stony Point. But that’s just common sense. Isn’t it?

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