Road Stock

MOUNT JACKSON — Residents in Mount Jackson will be given the opportunity to have their voices heard as the Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing regarding improvements to a bridge on U.S. 11 in Shenandoah County.

The truss bridge, located over the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and approximately half a mile north of Va. 720, is slated to be replaced.

The public hearing will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at Triplett Business and Tech School off Main Street, in Mount Jackson.

Residents who attend the hearing will be able to discuss the project on a one-on-one basis with VDOT officials and designers, according to a VDOT press release. Written comments can be submitted at the meeting or within 10 days after the meeting to Anthony Pelina, VDOT project manager, at 811 Commerce Road in Staunton.

The truss bridge on U.S. 11, or Old Valley Pike, was built in 1933. The bridge is roughly 150 feet long with a deck containing 24 feet of clear width, according to a press release.

The bridge is being replaced due to it reaching the end of its service life.

A truss bridge is a load-bearing superstructure composed of connecting elements forming triangular units.

The new bridge will be a 245-foot single-span bridge with a deck containing 43 feet and 6 inches of clear width, making the replacement close to double the size if the existing bridge.

The replacement will be built east of the current structure. A sidewalk will be located on the west side of the new bridge and a sidewalk area will be used in the future for U.S. 11 widening.

The bridge replacement is estimated to cost $6.7 million, which includes costs for preliminary engineering, right-of-way and construction.

Safety on U.S. 11 is expected to be enhanced with the new two-lane bridge, according to the press release. The replacement bridge will be built to current design standards and will be able to support modern traffic in volume and vehicle weight.

The new bridge will also be able to support emergency vehicles and heavy trucks.

In 2014, U.S. 11 had an average daily traffic count of more than 5,000 vehicles per day, according to the press release. By the design year of 2038, the average daily traffic volume is estimated to be 6,000 vehicles per day.

Design approval for the project is scheduled from summer 2019 with right-of-way activities beginning in fall 2019. Advertisement for construction is expected to be scheduled for fall 2020.

The existing bridge will remain open to traffic while its replacement is going through construction.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

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