A $3.6 million contract for the rehabilitation of the Waterloo Bridge between Fauquier and Culpeper counties was awarded earlier in January to Corman Kokosing Construction Company of Annapolis Junction, Maryland. The bridge spans the Rappahannock River at Va. 613 (Jeffersonton Road), in Waterloo, Fauquier County.
Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed by April 30, 2021, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The project involves repairing the bridge piers, installing a timber deck and placing new steel beams on the 15 approach spans. Some bridge components may not be fit for continued use and will have to be replaced with new materials. VDOT said however, that every effort will be made to replicate the look of the historic bridge, including its green paint color.
No significant improvements to the roadway approaches are planned. There will be a 12-ton weight restriction on the completed bridge.
The condition of the bridge led VDOT to close the bridge to traffic on Jan. 15, 2014. A three-ton weight restriction was in place at the time. The bridge has a truss structure made of wrought iron. It was built in 1878.
VDOT said that an average of 680 vehicles were using the bridge prior to its closing. Traffic has since used U.S. 211 (Lee Highway) and Leeds Manor Road in Fauquier.
The award of the construction contract came after the project was rebid after initial bids received in early 2019 came in high.
The bridge almost got a $1 million boost in November of 2017, when Russell Hitt, chairman of Hitt Contracting, donated matching funds that both Fauquier and Culpeper counties declined to provide. Though they supported rehabilitating the bridge, supervisors for both counties declined to allocate funds to do so in the face of other priorities.
Hitt, who grew up near the bridge, and said he wanted to save it for his children and grandchildren.
“I miss going up and down that bridge and hearing the tires rumble,” Hitt told the Fauquier supervisors last fall. “That’s a great experience.”
Restoring the historic bridge and returning it to service was also long championed by the Piedmont Environmental Council.
“Waterloo Bridge is a dramatic transportation feature that often elicits a sense of awe from visitors,” Julie Bolthouse, PEC’s land-use representative in Fauquier County said last April. “For residents, it provides a connection to history and the scenic river below and creates a sense of identity.
Corman Kokosing worked on the reconstruction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, a bridge at Harpers Ferry, the historic Cabin John Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, according to the company’s website.
Reach James Ivancic at email@example.com