Fairfax County's first prefabricated, fiberglass, footbridge was dedicated Tuesday morning as a result of joint funding by Greenspring Village Retirement Community and the county. It spans a tributary of Calamo Creek that frequently floods Greenspring Trail.
"This new bridge is a tribute to all the various people of both Westhampton community and Greenspring Village that have worked to make it happen. It also proves that once you show up at all for a community meeting you're at risk of being appointed to something," said Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee).
"Our dedication of this bridge also proves that the political system is responsive to the needs and wishes of the people," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D-At-large).
The $12,000 price tag was a combination of funds from Kauffman's district budget, pedestrian connection money from the chairman's budget, and Greenspring Village, according to Connolly.
Greenspring Trail runs between Greenspring Village Retirement Community and Westhampton community, a tract of single homes, just north of the Springfield Franconia Parkway in Lee District. It parallels the stream and was often flooded at the site of the new bridge following heavy rains, according to residents.
Frequently used by both Greenspring Village and Westhampton community residents, the natural crossing point was often slippery and presented a risk, particularly to the elderly members of the retirement community's Nature Trail Club.
"Without the joint efforts of both Gerry Connolly and Dana Kauffman this new bridge would not be here today," said Ed Batton, Lee District representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority. "I also want to thank all of you for your contributions to this effort."
Manufactured by E.T. Tetonic of Philadelphia, Pa., the 20-plus foot span is made of fiberglass and was delivered to the site in segments, according to Jenny Pate, trails coordinator of Fairfax County Park Authority. "It was assembled on the spot and is the first of its kind in Fairfax County," she said.
"We are looking at putting these type spans in other areas. It is a unique type construction and works well in situations like this," Connolly said.
Joining Kauffman and Connolly in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Ian Brown, executive director, Greenspring Village Retirement Community, and a variety of local residents from Westhampton community.