Regional Boards > Mid-Atlantic

US 460 At Ripplemeade VA

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mikereaser:
Before the Christiansburg bypass opened in 1974, 460 crossed the New River at Ripplemeade. By the time I moved to Blacksburg in late 1982, the only apparent remnant of the old bridge were the pilings; the deck and structure were gone.

Does anyone know when the former bridge was (mostly) removed?

https://maps.app.goo.gl/aTLtQtGjVzZbCvXZ7

If I've grabbed the correct link, you can still see the pilings on the satellite view.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S *MORE*!

Something is Very Extremely Weird when the 1982 and 1963 Historic Aerials are compared:

https://www.historicaerials.com/location/37.33231301641012/-80.67711231952411/1982

https://www.historicaerials.com/location/37.33231301641012/-80.67711231952411/1963

The visible pilings from 1982 until the present day do *NOT* align with the former 1963 460 ROW on either side of the river. Nor with the bridge itself.

So - just where the hell *was* the 460 bridge?

Also - just what the hell *was* the bridge those pilings used?

Mapmikey:
The previous bridge was demolished in the late 1970s.  See page 71 here: https://www.ctb.virginia.gov/meetings/minutes_pdf/CTB-05-1977-01.pdf

I didn't realize this before, but the pilings are from the bridge previous to the demolished bridge.  This bridge was replaced in the 1934.  See pg. 10 here - https://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main/online_reports/pdf/77-r55.pdf

Here is a 1932 photo that shows the older bridge, though from a distance.
https://wvhistoryonview.org/image/026346.jpg

mikereaser:

--- Quote from: Mapmikey on December 07, 2023, 07:09:32 AM ---The previous bridge was demolished in the late 1970s.  See page 71 here: https://www.ctb.virginia.gov/meetings/minutes_pdf/CTB-05-1977-01.pdf

I didn't realize this before, but the pilings are from the bridge previous to the demolished bridge.  This bridge was replaced in the 1934.  See pg. 10 here - https://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main/online_reports/pdf/77-r55.pdf

Here is a 1932 photo that shows the older bridge, though from a distance.
https://wvhistoryonview.org/image/026346.jpg

--- End quote ---

Wowza. I am be-boggled.

Wow.

Mapmikey:
Another satisfied customer…

Dirt Roads:
For those who haven't seen it, the "new" US-460 high level bridge over the New River at Ripplemead has a steep parabolic vertical curve, unlike anything I've ever seen anywhere.  Over the years, I've used the bridge to test out the efficiency of overdrive transmissions (sometimes taking multiple trips on the same day).  The eastbound approach is on the freeway section and allows you to get a decent length straight run at the "test track" over the bridge.  Typically, I would hold back the speed to either 45MPH or 50MPH until entering the straight section then turn loose of the accelerator.  Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, you would very seldom encounter other traffic in this section.  I had one car that actually topped out at 71MPH when released from 50MPH.

For the record, it is unsafe to drive in neutral (particularly over a bridge that is subject to high crosswinds like this one).

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