Norris bridge traffic reduced to 3 tons

NORRIS BRIDGE: The vehicle weight limit on the Robert O. Norris Bridge over the Rappahannock River between Lancaster and Middlesex counties is being reduced to 3 tons effective immediately for motorist safety while Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) bridge inspectors check the structure for damage: https://bit.ly/2nEGMCl

During a milling and paving operation on the bridge today, a VDOT construction inspector reported an abnormal sound that could potentially indicate a safety concern with a bridge element. A team of VDOT bridge inspectors will begin an inspection tomorrow morning to ensure all bridge elements are safe.

Most emergency vehicles, including ambulances, are permitted to continue crossing the bridge.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people crossing the bridge. We regret this inconvenience for drivers of heavier weight vehicles, who we know will have a significantly longer trip between the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. However, we have a responsibility to protect the public and thoroughly investigate this concern out of an abundance of caution,” said Marcie Parker, P.E., VDOT Fredericksburg District Administrator.

Message boards notifying motorists of the detour route are posted at key decision points for drivers along the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula to let travelers determine the most convenient alternate route.

Detour signs are being posted on the official detour route, which is Route 3 to the Downing Bridge on Route 360 over the Rappahannock River at Tappahannock, and Route 17.