Bridge to affect national park near M’town

Posted: February 1, 2014

The Winchester Star

STRASBURG — The planned construction of a new bridge across Cedar Creek on U.S. 11 in Shenandoah County could have an impact on the nearby Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to replace two bridges across Cedar Creek — one northbound and one southbound — with one bridge.

Construction on the expected two-year project is tentatively scheduled to start in fall 2015.

The park is just north of the project, near Middletown.

Amy Bracewell, the national park’s site manager, said on Friday that the National Park Service considers the bridge and road to be the gateway to the park’s southern entrance.

“We’re very interested in how this turns out and interested in a bridge that is appropriate in design and placement for a national park entrance and that blends in with the historic resources,” she said.

“We’ve been involved in the process since 2011 and we continue to advise and submit recommendations based on our knowledge of historic resources and the importance of the gateway area to the park.”

The two-lane bridge will be built in the median parallel to the existing southbound bridge, with the possibility of widening it to four lanes if necessary.

The approaches to the new bridge will also be realigned and the project will correct the curve on the southbound approach that has experienced crash problems, according to VDOT officials.

The estimated cost for the project is $7,276,226, including $685,101 for preliminary engineering, $150,000 for right of way and $6,441,125 for construction.

Additional information about the project is available at virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/shenandoah_county_ route_11_cedar_creek_bridge.asp.

VDOT will hold a public hearing about the project from 4 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Strasburg Town Office at 174 E. King St.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@

winchesterstar.com