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One lane of Chatham Bridge closed for emergency inspection
The Virginia Department of Transportation is closing one lane of eastbound and westbound Route 3 at the Chatham Bridge today and tomorrow for an emergency bridge inspection, following a recent overweight truck crossing the bridge, VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon said.
This could create brief delays each day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Hannon said VDOT plans to bring a “snooper truck” to the site. That truck has an extended arm that can swing over the bridge rail and below the span, positioning personnel in a bucket to inspect the bridge.
The inspection was prompted by an incident on Saturday in which a truck weighing 81.6 tons crossed the bridge. The legal load limit for state-maintained structures is 27 tons for a single-unit truck, and 40 tons for tractor-trailers, Hannon said.
“VDOT’s structural and bridge engineers performed a visual inspection of the bridge immediately after the overweight truck crossing, while the bridge was closed to traffic,” said VDOT’s Fredericksburg District Structure and Bridge Engineer Annette Adams, P.E. “A full, follow-up inspection is required as a precaution to check for additional damage.”