The $23.4 million project improved the condition of the Route 3 Business bridge over the Rappahannock River, which carries around 16,000 vehicles a day and connects Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg. Construction started in June 2020, and the bridge reopened to traffic on Oct. 10, 2021.
Project contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. completed the bridge deck repairs at an accelerated pace ahead of contract requirements to reopen the bridge to traffic as soon as possible.
The project team replaced the bridge deck and travel surface, and repaired the bridge approaches and substructure. After the detour was lifted in October, repair work continued underneath the bridge.
Before the project, Chatham Bridge was posted with a 15-ton vehicle weight limit, which has been removed. Vehicles of all legal loads can cross the bridge, including heavier-weight emergency-response equipment.
Pedestrians and cyclists have been able to use the new 10-foot-wide shared-use path on the bridge since October. The new path is separated from the travel lanes by a barrier. With the project’s completion, the path now connects with a Stafford trail along River Road that passes underneath the Chatham Bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists now 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.
The shared-use path also has a scenic overlook of the Rappahannock River at the bridge midpoint. New LED lighting was added, and matches the style of existing light posts in the downtown Fredericksburg area. The replacement concrete bridge rail retained the existing open-view appearance.
As part of the project, permanent road improvements were made in advance along the signed detour route. The left-turn lane on the Dixon Street exit ramp from the Blue and Gray Parkway in Fredericksburg was extended in January 2020 to hold a greater number of vehicles, which improved driver access to the right turn lane.
Bravo to everyone associated with this project!