Advance Mills Bridge

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The Advance Mills Bridge that carries Route 743 (Advance Mills Road) over the North Fork Rivanna River re-opened to traffic on Friday, April 16, 2010. [1] The bridge was closed in April 2007 after inspectors with the Virginia Department of Transportation determined the steel truss bridge was no longer strong enough to hold the posted weight limit. For three years, residents of northwestern Albemarle County lost north-south access to Earlysville because the bridge was closed. The bridge now has the capacity to carry public safety vehicles and school buses, something that VDOT said has not been allowed since the early 1970’s when the bridge weight limit was reduced to 8 tons.

The replacement bridge is a two-lane and steel trussed structure, wide enough to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The approaching roadways on either side have been widened to match the bridge's width and improvements are being made to increase line-of-sight on the east side of the bridge.

The completion was delayed in the fall of 2009 after VDOT disovered the "unanticipated conditions" of additional rock being found when drilling occurred to install bridge supports.

Why a temporary bridge wasn't planned

Many residents of both Earlysville and Advance Mills demanded that a temporary bridge be installed after the original structure was closed. VDOT's original plan had been to install a temporary bridge on the existing alignment while designing a new location for a permanent bridge. However, budget cuts forced VDOT to abandon that strategy in favor of building a permanent bridge on the existing alignment. [2]

Need to preserve historic bridge

The steel truss bridge installed in 1943 was a contributing structure to the Advance Mills Historic District. That required VDOT to work with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to come up with a plan to mitigate the effects on the district.



  1. Web. Advance Mills Bridge Opens, Brandon Shulleeta, Daily Progress, Media General, April 16, 2010, retrieved November 11 2014.
  2. Web. VDOT pledges to speed up Advance Mills replacement project; temporary bridge cancelled, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved November 11, 2014.

External links

VDOT's Advance Mills project page