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

Oct. 1, 2010


STAUNTON – The Virginia Department of Transportation will host a ribbon-cutting event at the Route 744 bridge over the North Fork of the Shenandoah River in Shenandoah County. The event will be on Oct. 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the bridge site.  This event is open to the public.

The bridge contract was awarded to Fairfield-Echols, LLC of Fishersville on Dec. 22, 2009 with a contract value of $1.2 million. The contract completion date is April 14, 2011

The project replaces an old sub-standard bridge, built in 1932.  The old bridge is posted with signs indicating the bridge can only serve vehicles 10 tons and under in weight.  The new bridge is wider and better able to safely serve modern traffic

The improvements to Route 744 include the replacement of the existing bridge over the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. This location extends from 0.3 mile to 0.45 mile east of Route 648. The bridge is on a dead-end road and serves at the only access to local residents.

The existing 16-foot single-lane low-water bridge is being replaced with a new 26-foot, two-lane bridge, built upstream about 100 feet. Traffic continues to use the old bridge during the construction period. The footbridge located downstream of the existing structure will remain in place.

The roadway approaches are being reconstructed to provide two ten-foot travel lanes. Graded shoulders will be adjacent to the pavement along with some areas of four-foot ditches.

In 2002 there were 421 vehicles per day at this location. This number is anticipated to increase to 670 vehicles per day by the year 2033.

A design public hearing was held on August 5, 2008. Design plans were approve by Chief Engineer Malcolm T. Kerley, P.E. on October 31, 2008.

The ribbon-cutting event is weather permitting.  The public can go to the VDOT website at and look at the Route 744 project page for any event updates. This is found under Projects and Studies, Staunton Projects. (

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.


Take Interstate 81 to Exit 291. Head east on Route 651 (Mount Olive Road). Turn left onto Route 11 (Old Valley Pike), drive 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Route 644 (Millner Road), drive 2.2 miles. Turn right onto Route 744 (Deer Rapids Run Road), drive .4 mile to bridge site. VDOT staff will be on site to assist with parking.

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