MORGAN FORD BRIDGE

Jeff Hansberger, an equipment operator for Kickin Asphalt Paving & Excavating, sows grass seed along the southern approach at Morgan Ford bridge last week. The bridge will reopen today.

The Morgan Ford bridge should reopen around 9 a.m. today after being closed for about two months for repairs to its southern approach, according to Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Slack.

Slack said over the phone that the repairs were necessary after the bridge’s southern approach was damaged several times by flooding. He explained that water had gotten underneath the road and washed out the asphalt. A VDOT news release states that the bridge was repaired with “metal sheet pilings and large stone in order to stabilize and strengthen the roadway and roadbed.”

“The project is intended to minimize damage from future flood events,” the release states.

While the road leading to the bridge was damaged, Slack noted that the bridge itself has not been harmed.

Although a construction contract listed a June 5 completion date, Slack said the Strasburg-based Kickin’ Asphalt Paving and Excavating will receive a $25,000 incentive for finishing the repairs before Friday. The repairs, which are funded by VDOT, cost $553,905 before factoring in the incentive.

The repairs were necessary despite the January 2018 completion of a $4.9 million replacement bridge that was supposed to reduce flooding.

Slack said that within days of the replacement bridge’s opening, the first of several heavy rain events caused damage to the southern approach.

If the repairs were not made, Slack said VDOT knew that the road would periodically continue getting washed out.

With the upgrades, Slack said VDOT is “pretty confident” that the issue is solved.

The release notes that trucks over 30 feet long are still not allowed to use the bridge and should continue using alternate routes.

– Contact Josh Gully at jgully@nvdaily.com