The $3.6 million rehabilitation of the 1878 Waterloo Bridge, one of the oldest metal bridges in Virginia, is “months ahead of schedule,” according to Virginia Department of Transportation representative Lou Hatter.

The one-way bridge spans the Rappahannock River at Va. 613 , between Fauquier and Culpeper counties. It was closed to traffic in 2014 because of its deteriorating condition. The rehabilitation project was scheduled to end April 2021, but Hatter said the project is on track to be completed earlier.

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A crane lifts the Waterloo Bridge truss into position Nov. 5

Maryland-based Corman Kokosing Construction Company began rehabilitation work on the bridge and the underlying structures earlier this year, repairing the concrete piers and abutments and replacing the wooden decking on the approaches to the truss.

On Thursday, the metal truss was lifted by a crane back into position after being removed for repairs. Before the bridge can reopen, decking needs to be laid on the truss itself, guardrails need to be installed on each approach and paving needs to be finished on either side of the bridge, Hatter explained.

Waterloo Bridge is known for its distinctive iron and (more) steel Pratt through-truss. The current bridge was built in 1878 at a river crossing that first served as a link to a bustling canal town in the early 19th century; the location later became a pivotal river crossing during the Civil War.

A bridge built across the same expanse as the current bridge was destroyed during the Civil War; the current bridge replaced it. The current bridge was the oldest metal truss bridge still in service in Virginia when it was closed in 2014.

News that a Maryland firm has been awarded a $3.6 million contract to rehabilitate the Water…

The rehabilitation project came after a campaign led by the Piedmont Environmental Council, urging state and local officials to preserve the structure.

Although Fauquier and Culpeper supervisors declined to allocate local funds for the project, Russell Hitt, chairman of Falls Church-based Hitt Contracting, made a $1 million donation toward the rehabilitation. The remaining funds came from state sources.

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