Interstate bridge that is 'too low' may be changed to pedestrians and bikes only

I-95 Scott Road Bridge .jpg
Posted at 6:59 AM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 07:11:34-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — A bridge that crosses over Interstate 95 in Henrico County may soon be transformed to accommodate only pedestrians and bicyclists.

Henrico County Public Works proposed plans to replace the Scott Road bridge with an “innovative bicycle/pedestrian-only bridge,” according to a Henrico Board of Supervisors resolution.

Terrell Hughes, the county’s public works director, said the bridge was built in 1962 and is too low. It currently stands at 14.5 feet when current regulations require at least 16.5 feet.

Several trucks strike the bridge every year.

The estimated $20 million project was designed, in part, with the incoming GreenCity project and to help control traffic in nearby neighborhoods.

The existing bridge would become obsolete once the Magellan Parkway bridge over I-95 is completed in about three years.

Hughes and his team hope to receive federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. The RAISE program allocates funds for transportation improvements that have a significant local or regional impact.

The federal share of the project cost may not exceed 80% of the total project estimate. The county is also seeking regional funding for the project.

“The County has identified the Garden City Trail and Pedestrian Bridge as a project that improves pedestrian and bicycle safety, mobility, accessibility, and access to the regionally significant Fall Line Trail and the GreenCity development. The project includes the installation of approximately 0.66-mile of 12-foot shared-use path along Athens Road and Scott Road and reconstruction of the Scott Road Bridge over I-95 to create an innovative bicycle/pedestrian only bridge,” the resolution stated.

The county is considering building the bridge with a unique material called Glu-laminated wood. Bridges in America are typically built with either steel or concrete.

I-95 Scott Road Bridge render.jpg
Rendering of what the Scott Road bridge over Interstate 95 in Henrico County would look like as a pedestrian and bike only bridge after replacement.

Glu-lam material is just as strong as steel and lasts longer.

“It's very popular overseas especially for pedestrian bridges over in Europe,” Hughes explained.

If built, the Henrico bridge would become the first of its kind to be built with the unique material in the Continental United States.

The county should hear back from the federal government by August.


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