Community, VDOT Discuss Bridge Over Piney Run

Community, VDOT Discuss Bridge Over Piney Run

Public information meeting held on bridge replacement project.

Last week, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) held a public information meeting in Great Falls regarding the replacement of the Walker Road Bridge over Piney Run. The bridge, located on Route 681 in Fairfax County, was built in 1932, currently being 22 feet wide and accommodating only one lane of traffic. Due to traffic buildup, the bridge becomes very congested during peak rush times. Additionally, according to VDOT employee Shaun Fielding, the bridge is structurally deficient: “The bridge cannot withstand the flooding of Piney Run. It is dangerous and falling apart. Therefore we are looking for input from members of the community on how this bridge should be rebuilt. There is sensitivity on how big the project will be and what the footprint will be. Additionally, we are looking for feedback about giving the bridge pedestrian access.”

Currently, VDOT has provided four alternatives:

*Alternative 1 - Bridge without a sidewalk;

*Alternative 2 - 6’ raised sidewalk on West Side of the Bridge;

*Alternative 3 - 14’ raised share path on West Side of Bridge;

*Alternative 4 - 10’ Pedestrian Bridge on West Side of Bridge

(4A- Concrete Bridge; 4B- Connector Style Truss with Timber Deck; 4C- Keystone Style Truss with Timber Deck)

These different structures are currently being discussed and assessed by members of the community and VDOT employees. Many questions were raised specifically regarding the pedestrian access. If this feature were to be included in the project, Fairfax County would have to create a trail to link the sidewalk with another pedestrian-safe path. This necessity would make the project larger and therefore is a factor that needs to be decided within the coming months.

The department has estimated the project would create three weeks of road closure and up to six miles of detour. This would create up to 70-second traffic delays during peak hours. The project is estimated to cost $4.7 million and be completed in the summer of 2017.

For more information regarding the bridge, images of the alternatives and news about upcoming information events, visit VDOT’s website at: