Drivers demand bridge repairs

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Patience is running thin for some people in Hanover waiting for some much-needed repairs to a popular bridge.

The Spring Road bridge in western Hanover is heavily used as a shortcut to Interstate 64.

The bridge was deemed "structurally deficient" during an inspection back in 2009. It was also damaged during the earthquake.

VDOT has made a series of repairs, but some people in this area say it's time to start over.

1200 cars drive over the Route 617 bridge each day. It may be in a rural area but locals here say this is a popular shortcut from Louisa to Richmond.

Jay Wade has lived in this area for nearly twenty years. He says you're in for a bumpy ride if you drive over this bridge.

"It's almost like you got catapulted onto the bridge and then off it at the other end," Wade said. "You hear the ties underneath rattling the entire time along."

A 2009 inspection recommended replacing the 50-year-old span. Wade has been petitioning to have it replaced since 1996.

"They've come out and placed band-aids on the bridge out here," he said. "The band-aids are no longer effective and I feel it's a waste of taxpayer dollars to keep putting band-aids on something that needs to be replaced."

Replacing the bridge will cost way more than making these repairs according to VDOT.

VDOT says part of the hold up is trying to figure out what to do with the power lines that run diagonally over the bridge.

VDOT says it plans to start new repairs in either March or April next year. The bridge is considered "structurally deficient" so the weight limit has been lowered from ten tons to three.

"Keeping this 3 ton weight limit and expecting people to take this, we can measure it but it's about a 5 or 10 mile detour just to get around to the other side of the bridge, is not an acceptable answer," Wade said.

There are also lead paint and asbestos issues underneath the roadway. VDOT is still trying to find a contractor to do the work.

The county has included repairing this bridge in its six-year road plan in the past but had to scratch it off the list because it didn't have enough money.

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