Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at

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Harrell Road reopened

Harrell Road, the popular Stafford cut-through, has been reopened after problems with grates shut down the road.

Kelly Hannon, with the Virginia Department of Transportation, said crews “have installed a temporary support system for several broken grate lids at the water crossing.”

The repairs are temporary while the highway department looks for a permanent fix to the faulty grate covers.

One of the covers fell into the culvert on Jan. 31, the same time that a deluge hit the area. After the grate broke the road was closed. Hannon said the concrete ledge supporting the lid failed.

There were also issues with a grate earlier in January and before that in December. The road was closed each time while crews fixed the problems.

The removable grates run along the road beneath the CSX railroad bridge. They cover a concrete culvert through which Claiborne Run creek flows. The cut-through, between Deacon Road and Forbes Street, has a long history of flooding. A new drainage system was built at the underpass in 2011 to help cut down on the frequent floods at the low-lying spot.

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