HARRISONBURG — At its June meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the fiscal year 2020 budgets for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, according to a press release.
The board also approved the FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program, which allocated a record $22.9 billion to highway, rail and public transportation projects over the next six fiscal years beginning July 1, the release says.
One of those projects will take place in northern Rockingham County and will replace a bridge that was originally built in 1965.
A $12.6 million contract was awarded to A&J Development and Excavation Inc. of Mt. Crawford, to replace a bridge that carries U.S. 11 over Interstate 81 in Rockingham County, part of VDOT’s Staunton District.
The new bridge will be constructed about 60 feet south of the existing structure. Additional work will include installing signals at the intersection with the I-81 north exit and entrance ramps to improve traffic flow. Completion is expected in spring 2021.
Work is expected to begin in a month or two, said Sandy Myers, spokesperson for VDOT.
The new structure will have two lanes with left-turn lanes at about the same elevation as the existing crossing, according to the VDOT website.
Additionally, the intersection of the northbound I-81 exit and entrance ramps with U.S. 11 will be signalized to improve the traffic operations of the interchange.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained on U.S. 11 during construction. All on and off ramps will be maintained as well. During bridge construction, I-81 closures may be necessary to set beams, but any closures would be conducted at night to lessen effects on traffic.
In 2011, U.S. 11 had an average daily traffic count of 3,600 vehicles per day. By the design year of 2039 the estimated average daily traffic volume is 9,170 vehicles per day, according to the VDOT website. This project will improves safety by replacing a deteriorating bridge structure with a new bridge that is able to support modern traffic both in volume and vehicle weights.