With the tragedy in Minnesota still fresh on everyone’s mind Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) along with most states began an inspection of bridges with similar construction to the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. Five bridges in Loudoun County were found to be “functionally obsolete” by VDOT which means that they can not accommodate current traffic volumes, vehicle sizes and weights.
With the surge in growth in Loudoun County over the last 10 years it is not surprising that bridges that were designed to handle the low volume of rural traffic can not hold up to the explosive growth in the area. Two of the five bridges have now been closed by VDOT, Sunny Ridge Road and Snickersville Road, and the other three Featherbed Road over Catoctin Creek, Hughesville Road over Crooked Creek and Forest Mills Road have had warnings posted for motorists.
Motorists need to be aware that some of the other bridges that have been found to be obsolete may be closed in the future but do not need to be alarmed. VDOT is carefully analyzing the bridges and will make decisions about their use in the near future.