FRONT ROYAL — The Prospect Street bridge, which is constructed of wood and located across from Andrick’s Flea Market, eventually will need $210,000 in repairs, but the town is in no rush for construction to begin.
Town Manager Joe Waltz explained that the Roanoke-based engineering firm Matterson and Craig conducted an inspection of the bridge last year and found “that there’s quite a bit of work that needs to be done.”
He said the main issue is that the bridge’s planks are due for replacement, but there is also “other small work that needs to be done.” One goal of the project, he said, is increasing the bridge’s weight capacity from its estimated 5-ton limit.
While the town’s five-year capital improvement plan calls for work on the bridge to be done this year, Waltz said the repairs are not an immediate necessity, and there is no fear of an impending collapse.
He said the town will not fund the $210,000 maintenance anytime soon and will instead explore grant funding opportunities for the project.
He added that another option would be the town getting matching construction funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation. This is similar to how the Criser Road bridge replacement was funded, with VDOT providing $225,000 of the $986,075 construction costs through a revenue sharing program.
Waltz said there is no timeline for when the maintenance work has to begin on the Prospect Street bridge, and it may not get started for a year or two. He said he would like to continue exploring every grant scenario and other opportunities in attempts to “try and save some money for the citizens.”