Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
540-292-2500 (cell)
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
540-414-5670 (cell)

July 14, 2010


STAUNTON - The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a design public hearing concerning the replacement of the Route 340/522 (North Shenandoah Avenue) South Fork Bridge and intersection improvements to Route 55 (Strasburg Road) and Route 340/522 in Warren County.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Department located at 221 North Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630-9113.

Citizens can come in during the meeting hours and discuss the project on a one-on-one basis with VDOT officials and designers. Written comments can be submitted at the meeting or within 10 days after the meeting date to Mr. Scott Alexander, Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 811 Commerce Road, Staunton, VA  24401-9029. Oral comments can be recorded at the meeting with the assistance of a court reporter.

The Route 340/522 South Fork Bridge project will replace the existing bridge over the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and the Norfolk and Southern Railroad. Additionally, the project will reconfigure the intersection of Route 340/522 and Route 55. Along with the bridge, the project will reconstruct approximately 5,600 feet of roadway along Route 340/522 and Route 55.

Located on the northern outskirts of the Town of Front Royal, the project is on Route 340/522 from 0.11-mile south of the intersection with 18th Street to 0.12-mile north of the intersection with Route 55. Work along Route 55 will extend approximately 0.33 miles west of Route 340/522.

The South Fork Bridge, built in 1941, consists of 12 spans made up of steel-beams and steel deck trusses with a concrete deck. The current bridge contains four 10-foot wide travel lanes with two lanes in each direction. This structure has surpassed its 50-year design life-span. Three-axle vehicles weighing more than 27 tons and five-axle vehicles weighing more than 38 tons are prohibited from using the bridge due to the bridge’s deteriorated condition. Signs informing motorists of this weight limit are posted in the bridge area.  

The purpose of the project is to replace the deteriorating South Fork Bridge and to address the severe traffic congestion in the bridge corridor. The project will also accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic and improve corridor safety.

The new bridge will have six lanes and feature bike and pedestrian facilities. Improved signs, markings and longer turn-lanes are included. A new left-turn lane will be built at 18th Street in Front Royal.

A primary goal of this project is to significantly reduce congestion in the area and enhance safety. At the Route 340/522 intersection with Route 55 high traffic projections require that non-traditional intersection treatments be considered. The intersection will feature an innovative design called a “Quadrant Roadway Intersection (QRI)”. A traffic simulation model of the QRI will be presented at the public hearing.

The total estimated cost for this project is $70.9 million with $4.5 million for preliminary engineering, $8.3 million for right of way activities, and $58.1 million for construction. The construction estimate includes costs for bridge construction and the intersection construction.

The next steps include consideration for design approval in the fall of 2010. Right of way acquisition is scheduled for winter 2011 and construction is scheduled for early 2017, however these activities are not currently fully funded in the VDOT six year program and are subject to change.

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.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012