Bridges Need Fixing

There’s been a lot of attention on bridge safety since the bridge collapse in Minnesota last year, and two of our bridges find ourselves in the news for safety reasons today. Belmont Bridge will be replaced soon, Seth Rosen writes in the Progress. Chunks keep falling off of the bridge, which dates from the early 60s, leading to the structure being rated at 49 out of 100, which is a pretty lousy sufficiency rating. The city’s looking for bids, and figure it’ll cost them around $9.2M, with the work starting late this year. Nearly all of that money will come from state and federal funding. Some folks weren’t happy that it was installed in the first place — it’s a pretty significant barrier between Belmont and downtown — so here’s hoping that some pedestrian improvements are made with Belmont Bridge 2.0.

The other bridge news is that delays will continue in replacing the Advance Mills bridge, which was shut down last year because it’s just not safe. Locals have been stuck taking a pretty goofy detour down a dirt road to get across the river. The BoS planned on installing a temporary bridge, which VDOT supports, but the Federal Highway Administration says that’s a waste, and that the next step is a new permanent bridge. And that leaves Advance Mills residents without a bridge until 2010 or 2011.

5 thoughts on “Bridges Need Fixing”

  1. Argk, I’m going to copy something I already posted about how to find worn-out bridges around here.

    County bridges are easy to search on the national Bridge Inventory (NBI). The city bridges are not. Here’s a really bad one that if I recall The Hook or C-Ville missed in its recent story:
    250 Bypass over the NS railroad tracks at McIntire Park. This is the bridge between McIntire Rd. and Rugby Ave. (not Rugby Rd., that’s a typo):
    That 31% sufficiency rating is bad, worse than the Belmont Bridge, but maybe the city is not responsible for it.

    By contrast, Free Bridge is 87.8%, and the worst in Albemarle are still listed as:
    Advance Mills 2.5%
    Proffit Rd. (over NS railroad): 4.5%
    Free State Rd. (over NS railroad): 5%

    Who knows how political these things are. Each report has a cost estimate for fixing it included.

    The Belmont Bridge (Avon St. or 9th St. SE) is 49.7%.

    The Cville bridges are hard to find because the location field, where the county would go, is blank.

  2. I don’t quite understand how you can build a “temporary” bridge for Advance Mills. All bridges have to meet safety standards, so what would be the difference between a temporary bridge and a permanent one?

  3. Maybe how long it would last (bridges wear out), whether it can withstand a big flood, how much weight it can take?

  4. The article still wasn’t clear on how much of the original bridge will remain in tack. I wonder if the tunnel will remain or be re-constructed.

  5. That pedestrian tunnel between Lexis and the Pavillon is practically new. About ten years ago?

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