VDOT News - Staunton
Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Sept. 8, 2020
ROUTE 720 BRIDGE OVER INTERSTATE 81 IN ROCKINGHAM COUNTY WILL CLOSE FOR ONE YEAR BUT BRING A $3.7 MILLION SAVINGS
STAUNTON – The Virginia Department of Transportation will be closing the Route 720 (Smithland Road/Old Furnace Road) Bridge over Interstate 81 in Rockingham County as part of plans to replace the existing structure. The closure will last approximately one year.
Design plans are being finalized by VDOT with construction anticipated for fall 2022.
The current estimated project cost is $8.5 million, which includes a $3.7 million savings resulting from project redesign work. The 2015 public hearing plans showed the new bridge to be built just north of the current structure, which contributed to higher than projected utility costs.
The revised plans provides the $3.7 million savings from fewer roadway changes and less utility relocation work and right of way costs.
In 2015 the project included the total bridge replacement, a partial roadway realignment, improvements at two nearby intersections, and a center turn lane on the bridge. Total cost of the project was estimated at $10.2 million. After the public hearing another $2 million was needed for utilities.
The 2020 project plans include only the new bridge construction and minor roadway work. The new Route 720 bridge will have two 11-foot travel lanes and 5-foot shoulders, but no center turn lane. The new bridge will be built to accommodate any future widening of I-81.
During the year-long project Route 720 will be closed between Route 718 (Old Furnace Road) and Buffalo Drive. Route 720 traffic will follow a roughly 3.5-mile detour. Buffalo Drive will be closed for shorter periods of time during some phases of construction, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in fall 2022.
A new video offers details about the Route 720 bridge replacement project and traffic restrictions during construction. It is available on VDOT’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnCBejKSpUE&feature=youtu.be. Additional information can also be found on the Route 720 Project Page at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/rockingham_county_8211_route_720_smithland_road_bridge_over_interstate_81.asp
The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.