From VDOT news release:

The Route 3 Business bridge over the Rappahannock River, also known as Chatham Bridge, will close to traffic for an improvement project beginning on Monday, June 22.

The bridge connecting Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg will close to traffic at approximately 5 a.m. Monday, June 22.

At that time, detour signs will be unveiled to guide motorists along the posted detour route:

  • Route 3 Business
  • Blue & Gray Parkway
  • Dixon Street
  • Charles Street

For vehicles taller than 13 feet, 6 inches, the posted detour route will be:

  • Route 3 Business
  • Blue & Gray Parkway
  • William Street

Message boards displaying the June 22 closure date will be activated on Monday, June 8, on routes leading to the Chatham Bridge to provide two weeks of advance notification to travelers.

The Chatham Bridge is scheduled to reopen in October 2021. The $23.4 million rehabilitation project by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and project contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. is needed to improve the bridge’s condition and remove the existing 15-ton vehicle weight limit. The project will also enhance pedestrian access.

Traffic Pattern Changes at Route 1, Hanson Avenue in Fredericksburg

During the Chatham Bridge project, there will be no change for traffic traveling on Route 1 over Falmouth Bridge into downtown Fredericksburg.

Vehicles on Route 1 southbound crossing Falmouth Bridge can continue to turn left onto Princess Anne Street to downtown Fredericksburg. Vehicles on Route 1 northbound can continue to turn right onto Princess Anne Street toward the downtown area.

Chatham BridgeBut, with additional traffic expected to use Route 1 and the Falmouth Bridge during the Chatham Bridge closure, several changes will be made, which mostly affect travel on Hanson Avenue.

The following changes will be put into place shortly before Monday, June 22, with specific dates and times to be announced:

  • Hanson Avenue traffic in Fredericksburg approaching the Route 1 intersection will be limited to right turns onto Route 1 southbound only. Hanson Avenue traffic seeking to reach Princess Anne Street or Route 1 northbound will be detoured to Riverside Drive, pass under the Falmouth Bridge, and will proceed on Caroline Street to Germania Street, where there is an existing traffic signal at the Germania Street and Princess Anne Street intersection.
  • Route 1 northbound traffic will be prohibited from turning left onto Hanson Avenue. However, Route 1 northbound traffic at the intersection can continue to proceed straight to cross Falmouth Bridge, and turn right onto Princess Anne Street.
  • A new traffic signal will be added at the Princess Anne Street ramp to Route 1 northbound and Falmouth Bridge. The signal will allow for free-flowing right turns onto Route 1 northbound from Princess Anne Street during a green signal.

Project Background

When the improved Chatham Bridge opens in October 2021, it will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with a separate shared-use path that is nearly 10 feet wide.

The bridge path will connect with existing sidewalks in downtown Fredericksburg and Stafford County’s Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail. A scenic overlook will provide a refuge for pedestrians to stop at the bridge midpoint. New light posts will be installed, and new bridge railings will keep the distinctive open view of the Rappahannock River. View a simulation video of the new bridge.

The project will replace the bridge deck and travel surface, and will make repairs to the bridge approaches and supporting elements in the substructure, which will allow the removal of the current 15-ton vehicle weight limit posting on the bridge.

Final construction activities will continue after the bridge has reopened to traffic, and the contractor has until April 2022 to complete all work. The impact to traffic after the bridge reopens will be limited. Only periodic single-lane closures, scheduled at off-peak times, are anticipated to be needed.

The Chatham Bridge opened to traffic in 1941. It carries an average of 16,000 vehicles a day.

Stay Updated

Get the information you need to get around while improvements are underway. Construction updates and project materials are available online at virginiadot.org/chathambridge.

Other project information resources: