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January 28, 2020

Remington bridge work about 20 percent complete

Photos/Don Del Rosso
The Remington Road bridge restoration forces the detour of about 1,800 vehicles a day.
The bridge closure makes things quieter in her Remington Landing neighborhood, Karla Balk says.
The project has closed one of the routes into and out of downtown Remington.
It’s a small bridge. Why does it take a year to fix?
— Andes Market & Deli owner Mi Yoo with customer Lonnie Brundage
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
For some, closure of the Remington Road bridge over the Rappahannock River at the Culpeper-Fauquier County line for rehabilitation amounts to a minor inconvenience.

But Mi Yoo, owner of Andes Market & Deli along Remington Road (Business Route 15) about two-tenths of a mile east of the 90-year-old span, has a different view of the $4.8-million project.

Since the truss bridge’s Nov. 11 closure, business has declined by 50 to 60 percent per day — representing thousands of dollars in lost revenue, according to Ms. Yoo.

In 2018, that portion of Business Route 15 carried an average of 1,800 vehicles per day, according to VDOT.

Before the steel structure shut, many of her customers who headed north on Route 29 from Culpeper County and beyond had used the Remington Road exit to get to her store, Ms. Yoo said.

But the bridge closure has forced them to use Route 15/29 to Route 651 (Freemans Ford Road/West Main Street) to access town and get to her market, she explained. The detour will remain in place until the project’s completion.

“A lot of my customers complain” about that detour, the 60-year-old merchant said.

Others, have skipped it and taken their business elsewhere, accounting for the market’s steep revenue decline, said Mr. Yoo, who bought Andes Market seven years ago.

“It’s a small bridge,” she said. “Why does it take a year to fix?”

Work should be completed by Oct. 9. VDOT awarded the $2.1 million construction contract to M.D. Miller Co. Inc. of Baltimore. Under the agreement, Miller will replace the bridge deck, improve the approach spans on each end and rehabilitate selected truss members. The truss span will remain in place during construction.

But the detour hasn’t deterred customers such as Lonnie Brundage, a Madison County handyman who comes through Remington almost daily.

“It doesn’t really affect me much,” said Mr. Brundage, 59. “I come in that way,” using the bridge exit from northbound Route 29. “But not going out, because it’s too dangerous making the left” turn onto southbound Route 29.

Instead, he uses the traffic signal at Freemans Ford Road and Route 29 to head south on the four-lane highway.

Karla Balk, 37, and her family live in Remington Landing, a subdivision along Business Route 15 less than two-tenths of mile east of the bridge.

For safety reasons, Mrs. Balk also avoids the Business Route 15 access to Route 29.

“I don’t like to make the left-hand turn” onto Route 29 south “because the road is so busy,” she said. “I prefer to go to the light (at Freemans Ford Road the four-lane highway). People drive so fast. I don’t like to take the chance.”

In fact, Mrs. Balk, a fitness operations supervisor at the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center in Manassas, almost welcomes the bridge closure.

“It’s actually nice, because it makes the road a bit more quiet,” she said, smiling. “I have no complaints.”

Neighbor Jamie Englehart, 40, has no real problems with the bridge closure other than it will prevent her and her brother from tubing at the river’s edge this summer.

“We anchor in” near the bridge, “put some music on,” said Ms. Englehart, a business analyst for CACI, a multinational professional services and information technology company based in Arlington. “It’s one of the reasons I bought the house. I have the Rappahannock River in my backyard. It’s a little slice of heaven.”

Focusing on removal of the bridge deck, Miller has completed about 20 percent of the project.

After crews finish the structure’s steel work, a new concrete deck will be poured.

On a given day, the contractor has 10 to 30 workers, according to VDOT Spokesman Will Merritt.

Prior to its closure, the bridge had a posted weight limit of 11 tons.

“The bridge will be re-inspected once the project is complete and a (weight) posting will be determined at that time,” Mr. Merritt said in an email.

Earlier this month, VDOT awarded a $3.6-million contract to Corman KoKosing Construction Co. of Annapolis Junction, Md., to restore a 142-year-old Waterloo Bridge over the Rappahannock River near Orlean.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
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isabella · January 30, 2020 at 2:38 am
In the case of the bridge, work is taking place the road is closed. The Remington bridge is under work, and cbd catalogs about 20 percent completed. The work is fast, so it will complete quickly for the comfort of the people.
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