The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will replace the Beach Mill Road bridge over Nichols Branch next summer rather than this summer so that school buses do not have to travel a six-mile detour for several months.
Last, week signs were posted at the bridge alerting motorists that the bridge would close Aug. 13.
“We have removed those signs and postponed the project after re-thinking the impacts the detour would have on school buses,” said VDOT Bridge Engineer Nicholas Roper. If we wait until next summer we can begin the work as soon as school lets out and re-open the bridge by Labor Day.”
In addition, VDOT will sequence construction on the Route 7 widening project, scheduled to begin next spring, so that crews are not working on Georgetown Pike while the bridge on Beach Mill Road is closed.
“Deferring construction in the vicinity of Route 7 and Georgetown Pike until the Beach Mill project is completed will help reduce traffic impacts,” Roper added. Route 7 will be widened to three lanes in each direction from Rolling Holly Drive to Reston Avenue.
Last September, the bridge over Nichols Branch was destroyed during Tropical Storm Lee. VDOT installed a temporary box culvert that opened to traffic in November. The temporary box culvert is sound and postponing the project poses no safety risks to motorists. The bridge has been scheduled to be replaced for several years.
Beach Mill Road carries about 1,700 vehicles a day.