A new authority responsible for promoting railways in Virginia said the only real solution to a degraded bridge over King Street is full replacement.
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) made its recommendation to the Transportation Commission earlier this month. The CSX bridge over King Street is nearly 120 years old and is notorious for causing closures and shutdowns.
The bridge has repeatedly closed after issues ranging from rail debris falling onto the street to repeated strikes by trucks and other vehicles.
At the Transportation Commission, Todd Hopkins — part of a group from the VPRA — said the bridge is also subject to occasional crashes with trucks and that the bridge does not meet current height requirements.
“Bridge strikes do occur by high trucks that try to pass through there,” Hopkins said. “When a bridge strike takes place, a safety inspection has to occur. All traffic gets shut down for at least a couple of hours. That leads to operational delays.”
Hopkins said a study weighed four options, ranging from various types of repairs and lifts to the bridge to full replacement.
The presentation noted that there are five criteria for screening bridge repair or replacement options, which include: adding 50 years of functional life to the bridge, minimizing rail operations, and meeting current railroad requirements and roadway clearance requirements. A full replacement was the only option that hit all five criteria.
VPRA Planning Manager Naomi Klein said bridge replacement met all criteria and is the recommended design option.
A report from the VPRA said the replacement would include increasing the bridge height and possible width under the bridge. Replacement would also reduce maintenance requirements and minimize rail service interruptions.
Klein said a feasibility study is scheduled to be completed sometime in the next month to be published early next year. After that, the VPRA will review public feedback and complete the environmental clearance process before progressing with a preferred design option.
Once a design is chosen, construction is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2024 and continue until midway through 2026.
The Transportation Commission also voted to include a note along with the report saying the city should add more signage to the bridge in the meantime with more visible warnings to truck drivers about the bridge height.
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Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
Again this year, The Critical Mass, LLC, the Made in ALX store and local Ukrainian-American artists are throwing a Pysanky Party — and partnering on a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Razom for Ukraine.
The free event, from 5 –