Chatham Bridge rehab complete, weight limit changed

Watchful Eye

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Chatham BridgeCourtesy of VDOT

The $23.4 million project to rehabilitate the Chatham Bridge, which connects Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg, is complete, VDOT announced Friday afternoon.

Chatham Bridge first opened in 1941. This project involved replacing the bridge deck and travel surface, and it repaired the bridge approaches and substructure.

Construction on Chatham Bridge started in 2020, and although it reopened to passengers in October, eliminating the detour, over the past several months, work was still being done underneath the bridge.

Joseph B. Fay Co., the contractor on the project, completed the bridge deck repairs at an accelerated pace ahead of contract requirements to reopen the bridge to traffic as soon as possible, said VDOT’s press release.

One result of this project is that it eliminated the 15-ton weight limit, which had been posted on the bridge. That notice has been removed and vehicles of all legal loads can cross the bridge, including heavier-weight emergency response equipment, said VDOT.

Another positive outcome of the project is it added a new 10-foot-wide shared use path that opened to pedestrians and cyclists in October.

The path now connects with a Stafford County trail along River Road that passes underneath the Chatham Bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists have uninterrupted, dedicated pedestrian facilities from Pratt Park in Stafford that cross the river and connect with the sidewalk and trail network in the City of Fredericksburg, explained VDOT. And the department noted that the shared-use path offers a scenic overlook of the Rappahannock River at the bridge midpoint. New LED lighting was also added.

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