Virtual meeting planned to discuss Chatham Bridge closure

The Chatham Bridge links Fredericksburg and Stafford County. [Photo: VDOT]

A bridge linking Stafford County with Downtown Fredericksburg is still on tap to shut down for up to 18 months.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold an online meeting to discuss the project that aims to improve the Route 3 Business bridge over the Rappahannock River, also known as Chatham Bridge.

The meeting which VDOT is calling “Pardon Our Dust” will be held from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. Participants can participate by visiting VDOT’s YouTube Live channel on the meeting date and time. No pre-registration is required.

Participants can watch a brief presentation from VDOT staff on the project, followed by a live chat question and answer session. The session will be made available for viewing on VDOT’s YouTube channel after the live session has ended.

Chatham Bridge is anticipated to close to traffic in June 2020. Traffic will be detoured for an estimated 16 to 18 months, with a bridge reopening planned for fall 2021.

Two weeks before the bridge is closed, the closure date will be announced on message boards positioned on roads leading to the bridge. The closure date will also be shared by traffic alert, on the project website at virginiadot.org/chathambridge , and through VDOT’s Fredericksburg District social media channels on Twitter , Facebook  and Nextdoor.

Construction activity is anticipated to begin near the Chatham Bridge after Memorial Day weekend, although the bridge will initially remain open to traffic. Crews will install a causeway extending into the Rappahannock River underneath the bridge for construction equipment access.

The Rappahannock River will remain open to recreational traffic throughout the project. River warning signs and buoys will be posted to guide boaters through the work zone on the river.

About the Project

The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $17.8 million contract in April 2020 to begin construction on a project to rehabilitate Chatham Bridge.

The project contract was awarded to Joseph B. Fay Co., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

When the improved bridge opens in fall 2021, it will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with a separate shared-use path, which 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.

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