FRANKLIN COUNTY – Traveling east of Rocky Mount on 122, you notice a huge difference in the landscape two miles out of town. The bridge over the Blackwater River is being replaced.
The project began several weeks ago. The new bridge will be built alongside the old one to reduce the impact on traffic, VDOT’s Jen Ward says.
The current bridge was built in 1942.
“It was just time,” Ward said. “Bridges at some point reach their life span and this one has done that. There is no danger or damage [to the current, old bridge].”
Crews have removed trees and from the land to the north of the current bridge. They also appear to be bulldozing a path into the slope that will ultimately make the sharp turn just before the bridge a smoother route.
The new bridge will also be eight feet wider than the current 24-feet wide bridge for a total width of 32 feet. There will be no weight limit.
VDOT awarded DLB Enterprises, LLC the contract for the work. The cost is $7.8 million.
Flagging operations will be in place as construction continues. Work will be done Monday through Friday starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. Crews will also be working on the bridge from 7 p.m. Saturdays to 6 a.m. on Sundays.