The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Closure of Fall Hill bridge coming soon
Closure of Fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg for bridge replacement work is less than a month away.
But today, one lane of Fall Hill Avenue will be closed while workers remove trees in the area, said city Public Works Director Doug Fawcett. That lane is expected to reopen on Thursday.
On Feb. 12, a segment of Fall Hill Avenue between the Virginia Outdoor Center and Forest Village Apartments will close and is not expected to reopen to through traffic for nine months.
The current bridge over the Rappahannock Canal will be demolished and a new two-lane bridge will be built.
The cost of the $3.1 million project is being split between the city and a Virginia Department of Transportation revenue-sharing grant.
The new bridge is expected to be ready for traffic on Nov. 10.
However, the contractor, American Infrastructure of Worcester, Pa., has been offered an incentive of $1,000 per day to finish the project early. The contractor can receive up to $60,000.
Conversely, the contractor faces a penalty of $1,000 per day for not finishing on time.
During demolition and construction, drivers will be detoured along a 5.5-mile route.
The detour for drivers headed west toward Central Park will take them from along U.S. 1 to Cowan Boulevard and onto Carl D. Silver Parkway.
During late December, city workers went door-to-door distributing notices to residents and businesses along Fall Hill Avenue to remind them of the pending closure, Fawcett said.
“We understand that this project will create inconvenience for not only the traveling public, but also, to an even greater extent, to those who live, work and operate their businesses in the Fall Hill Avenue corridor,” he said in that notice.
He noted that the city evaluated whether there was a way to keep the road open during bridge work but said it was not feasible financially or from a traffic standpoint.
This month, signs were posted in the Normandy Village neighborhood to direct bikers and pedestrians to help them get from the Rappahannock Canal Path to the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail and vice versa.
Today, people need to use Linden, Hanson, and Normandy avenues to connect the popular paths.
American Infrastructure has begun bringing in equipment and materials, which has eliminated access to the Gordon W. Shelton pedestrian bridge and the adjacent gravel parking lot.
That area will be used for construction throughout the bridge replacement project.
By the end of this month, signs will be placed on both sides of Fall Hill Avenue approaching the canal bridge, reminding people of the Feb. 12 closure.
All properties along Fall Hill Avenue will be accessible during construction, Fawcett said in his December notice.
He also noted that Normandy Village may see an increase in cars on neighborhood streets immediately following implementation of the detour as people encounter it and realize they must turn around.
He hopes that won’t last long.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
LANE CLOSURE TODAY
UPDATE: The lane closure scheduled for today has been canceled, city officials announced this morning.
One lane of Fall Hill Avenue near the Rappahannock Canal bridge will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
The closure will be limited to the eastbound lane between the canal and the entrance to Forest Village Apartments.
The lane closure is needed for a work zone related to the Fall Hill Avenue bridge replacement at the canal. Drivers should expect minor traffic delays and are asked to use caution as flaggers alternate traffic over the westbound lane past the work zone. The work is expected to last one day if weather permits.
The detour on Fall Hill Avenue for the bridge replacement won’t begin until Feb. 12.
Anyone with questions can contact Assistant Director of Public Works Dave King at 540/372-1023 or firstname.lastname@example.org.