Naming Bridges and Highways

How do bridges and highways get named?

Bridges and highways in Virginia can be named by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) or by action of the General Assembly. Often, naming by the CTB occurs following a request by a city or county.

The Code of Virginia addresses the naming of bridges and highways by the CTB:

  • Bridge Naming (§33.1-12(4))-To reflect the historical significance of the area where a bridge is located or in memory of a deceased person.

The General Assembly may name a bridge or highway for any purpose or person (deceased or not) through a bill that is enacted into law. The CTB may not rename a bridge or highway that has previously been named by the General Assembly.

The procedure for local governments to request the CTB name a bridge or highway:

  1. The request from the government should go to the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) local residency maintenance manager. The bridge or highway must not have been previously named by the General Assembly. The Virginia Route Index lists previously named bridges and highways. The bridge or highway also must meet one of the Code of Virginia sections above.
  2. The local jurisdiction should provide the residency maintenance manager a resolution (see example) requesting the action. The resolution must indicate that the local jurisdiction or family requesting the naming will pay all costs for the signs denoting the name.
  3. The residency maintenance manager forwards the request, with resolution, to VDOT's district office for review.
  4. The district office forwards the request, with resolution, to the Maintenance Division director for review and action.
  5. VDOT's Maintenance Division prepares the necessary CTB resolution, ensures the action item is on the CTB agenda, and presents the request to the CTB.
  6. After the CTB approves, the Maintenance Division notifies the district office and residency maintenance manager responsible for installing the signs.
  7. The district office notifies the Maintenance Division when the signs are installed.

More questions?

Contact your district office.

Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012