Text pulled from PEC’s Nov 6, 2020 Facebook post:
Exciting news! Yesterday, we were able to witness the placement of the rehabilitated Waterloo Bridge back onto its stone abutments. It was amazing to see the 550-ton crane set the 101-foot, 65,101-pound truss back onto its historical location! This rehabilitation included repair of the stone abutments and concrete piers, replacement of beams and verticals with new steel members, straightening and repair of the truss, and replacement of the wooden deck. Most of the truss portion that you see as you drive across shows off its original wrought iron components and rivets.
The contractors will be working to wrap up the project over the next few months, but it looks like the span will reopen to vehicles ahead of the originally scheduled April date!
It’s been nearly seven years since the Virginia Department of Transportation closed the iconic metal truss bridge, the oldest metal truss bridge still in operation in the Commonwealth, due to safety concerns. Upon learning the circa-1878 bridge was destined to be replaced with a standard concrete bridge, Culpeper and Fauquier residents came together to advocate for rehabilitation instead of replacement. The Save The Waterloo Bridge Facebook page was created and now has 2,800 followers, and PEC shared a petition that got over a thousand signatures. We held several community meetings and wrote numerous letters to decision makers and elected officials.
Although the project had strong community support, it stalled for several years due to a lack of funding. Without Joan and Russell Hitt, who donated one million dollars for the rehabilitation, this preservation outcome would likely not have been possible. Sadly Russell passed away earlier this year and was unable to see this wonderful preservation success, but his contribution will always be remembered.