Waterloo Bridge Report

An encouraging new report commissioned by The Piedmont Environmental Council, Fauquier County, and Culpeper County has identified a more cost-effective option for the full rehabilitation of the historic Waterloo Bridge on Waterloo Road (Route 613). The bridge has a long history dating back to the late nineteenth century, but it was closed due to safety concerns last winter.

Initial VDOT estimates placed rehabilitating the bridge for continued vehicular use in the 5 million dollar range. However, a detailed rehabilitation cost analysis by The Schiffer Group, Inc. (SGI), Workin’ Bridges and Bach Steel, reports the project could be accomplished for considerably less than initial estimates, stating that “it is our opinion that restoration/preservation of the bridge is a viable option.” 

A summary of the report’s recommendations:

1) Consider full dismantlement to remove all lead based paint and conduct a thorough examination of the members requiring replacement and/or repair.
2) Install rails and gaurdrails that will satisfy low speed vehicular loading.
3) Improve the northside grading to divert drainage from the piers and bents.
4) Remove the trees growing around the southside pier.
5) Retain ownership of the bridge by VDOT so that state resources and qualified contractor selection can remain in place.
6) Retain the historic use of limited vehicular one-lane traffic. This includes installation of height restriction clearance bars and signalization to prevent two vehicles from approaching at the same time.
7) Restore the bridge while maintaining the historic methods of construction (both materials and methods, eg hot riveting).
The report was issued on September 16, 2014, and it estimates the cost of the preliminary design to restore the Waterloo Bridge at approximately 1.8 million, including engineering and contingency funds. 
The Piedmont Environmental Council is excited about working with VDOT and the Counties to find a way to rehabilitate and re-open the Waterloo Bridge. The bridge is a valuable piece of our culture and history in Culpeper and Fauquier. It’s also significant statewide as the oldest metal truss bridge in Virginia, and we should make every effort to save this important resource. 

Read the full report

Read more about the Waterloo Bridge…