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Author Topic: Low-water bridges in Virginia  (Read 10407 times)

VaF

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Low-water bridges in Virginia
« on: November 30, 2010, 04:50:25 PM »

I was traveling on SR-624 (Morgan Ford Rd.) north of Front Royal, Va and to my surprise encountered what appeared to be a very old low-water bridge crossing the Shenandoah River. I saw on VDOT's website that they are intending to replace this bridge with a much more modern 2-lane bridge in the next few years or so. The bridge dates back to 1927, according to VDOT. Next time I'm out that way, I want to get a picture of it. I was wondering if anybody else knew if there other low-water bridges in service anywhere in the northern-half of Virginia. As I was was interested in photographing them as well.

I heard this girl drowned trying to cross this particular bridge back in March. It certainly looked like it wouldn't be very safe to cross when the river level is up. But I suspect these types of bridges are probably going to be phased out overall due to being unsafe. Still, it's interesting to see something like that still in service.
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NE2

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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 05:06:59 PM »

Here's a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22972196@N03/2205450634/
I guess this replaced Morgan Ford.
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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 05:24:25 PM »

Typically VDOT closes (but does not barricade) that crossing when the water level runs high...I've seen and photographed it with both high and low water.

VDOT's project website mentions it was built in 1925.  It also only shows a possible replacement in 2014, which suggests to me that VDOT doesn't have all the funding lined up.

There's another such crossing southwest of Front Royal on the South Fork Shenandoah, on SR 613 outside Bentonville.  This one is also planned for replacement, but is farther along the timeline than the SR 624 project, with design completed and approved and letting planned for late 2012.
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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 08:28:26 PM »

Two more in Virginia...

SR 601 over the New River in Grayson County: http://www.vahighways.com/bridges/new%20river/601-1.jpg

Youlle Bridge over the James River between two prisons near Goochland: http://www.vahighways.com/bridges/youlle2.jpg

I know I've seen others but am blanking out on where exactly they were.  I'm fairly certain they were over smaller bodies of water.

Of course, Virginia still has stream fords...

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VaF

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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 10:32:52 AM »

Typically VDOT closes (but does not barricade) that crossing when the water level runs high...I've seen and photographed it with both high and low water.

VDOT's project website mentions it was built in 1925.  It also only shows a possible replacement in 2014, which suggests to me that VDOT doesn't have all the funding lined up.

There's another such crossing southwest of Front Royal on the South Fork Shenandoah, on SR 613 outside Bentonville.  This one is also planned for replacement, but is farther along the timeline than the SR 624 project, with design completed and approved and letting planned for late 2012.


Thanks for the tip... you're right it was 1925... I read the same thing that you did from VDOT's website but got the date wrong. You're right that construction is funding-dependent... though I wonder with this "new-found" money that VDOT has it might be fast-tracked (though that might be a stretch).
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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 09:03:00 PM »

There's a low water bridge across the Patomac River between Maryland and West Virginia. I think it's at Old Town, MD a bi downriver of Cumberland.  It even charges a toll to cross.
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NE2

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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 10:21:52 PM »

There's a low water bridge across the Patomac River between Maryland and West Virginia. I think it's at Old Town, MD a bi downriver of Cumberland.  It even charges a toll to cross.
Wow, god damn thing is wood: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.538022,-78.612961&spn=0.006934,0.016512&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.538122,-78.612914&panoid=VELbJKh2-TxHEuSeuWitHg&cbp=12,185.84,,0,4.24
I wonder what that is just to the left...
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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 10:55:17 PM »

There's a low water bridge across the Patomac River between Maryland and West Virginia. I think it's at Old Town, MD a bi downriver of Cumberland.  It even charges a toll to cross.
Wow, god damn thing is wood: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.538022,-78.612961&spn=0.006934,0.016512&z=17&layer=c&cbll=39.538122,-78.612914&panoid=VELbJKh2-TxHEuSeuWitHg&cbp=12,185.84,,0,4.24
I wonder what that is just to the left...
Left? To the east is a dock. To the west is an island. That's all I see.

exit322

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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 04:04:51 PM »

I'm pretty sure that if I were to take my wife on any of those bridges, she'd have a heart attack...and when she recovered from that, she'd kill me.
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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2020, 08:43:42 AM »

Bumping a very old thread. Yesterday we were in Linden and we crossed the Morgan’s Ford bridge looking for a new way home. The low-water bridge has been replaced, though the gates used to close the road in case of high water are still there, as is the sign warning not to cross if the bridge is covered by water.



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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2020, 08:49:04 AM »

^ That's the one on SR 624, right?

Always enjoyed that spot.  Would often use it as an alternative to 340/522 going into Front Royal.
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1995hoo

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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2020, 09:18:44 AM »

^ That's the one on SR 624, right?

Always enjoyed that spot.  Would often use it as an alternative to 340/522 going into Front Royal.

It is indeed. Nice change of pace for a new route home. We had gone to our favorite winery (Fox Meadow on Freezeland Road) and Ms1995hoo decided she wanted to go through Middleburg on the way home, but I didn't feel like using either I-66 or Leeds Manor Road because we'd used both routes so many times. Last time we had tried Route 624, the road was closed (probably due to bridge construction).
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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2020, 10:22:33 PM »

Bumping a very old thread. Yesterday we were in Linden and we crossed the Morgan’s Ford bridge looking for a new way home. The low-water bridge has been replaced, though the gates used to close the road in case of high water are still there, as is the sign warning not to cross if the bridge is covered by water.
https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/warren_county_8211_route_624.asp

Fairly busy for a secondary road --
In 2012, the traffic count on this portion of Route 624 was 1,876 vehicles per day. This number is projected to increase to 3,005 in the year 2035.
The low-water bridge over the Shenandoah River on Route 624 was replaced with a new two-lane bridge. The project is about 0.4 mile long, from Route 643 (Howellsville Road) to 0.4-mile north of Route 643.
Surrounding the bridge are easements with the Virginia Outdoor Foundation (VOF) on the north side and Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) property on the south side. The Morgan Ford public boat landing is on the southeastern side of the existing bridge.
The original multi-span bridge was a single-lane structure built in 1925, which is 321-feet long with a single 11-foot wide lane. The new bridge is a two-lane structure at the same location following the existing roadway alignment.
Approximately 480-feet long, the new bridge has a 22-foot wide travel way. The roadway approaches varying between 22 and 24 feet. Ditches were provided where needed.
While not wide enough for a sidewalk or formal bike lanes, there are no restrictions placed on pedestrians or bicyclists from utilizing the new bridge.

Has considerably more height than the old bridge, but flood stage on the Shenandoah can easily overtop that height.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Low-water bridges in Virginia
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2020, 04:58:14 PM »

Has considerably more height than the old bridge, but flood stage on the Shenandoah can easily overtop that height.

Considering that the Shenandoah River watershed upstream of Morgans Ford (to the south) is quite large (especially the South Fork of the Shenandoah), I could see that a tropical storm dumping lots of rain - or a 1996 massive thaw - would put a lot of water in the Shenandoah, leading to the new bridge being over-topped.
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