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Route 250 Bridge at Shadwell

Rehabilitation of the bridge over Buckingham Branch Railroad

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
October 2011

Est Completion Date
Early summer 2012

Under Construction


Lengths and Limits
Bridge and approaches over Buckingham Branch Railroad

Fairfield-Echols, LLC; Fishersville, VA



Culpeper Public Affairs

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Project Purpose

Rehabilitation of the structurally deficient and functionally obsolete Route 250 bridge over the Buckingham Branch Railroad at Shadwell, east of Charlottesville.

The existing concrete bridge, which was built in 1939, is significantly deteriorated. The maximum weight limit for vehicles using the bridge was reduced to 15 tons in March 2011 due to its poor condition. The center turn lane has also been closed because the deck is deteriorated in that area. Most fire equipment and large commercial vehicles are not able to cross the bridge because of the weight restriction.

The bridge now carries approximately 15,000 vehicles per day. 

What is Proposed?

This project will replace the deck and supporting structure of the bridge that carries Route 250 over the Buckingham Branch Railroad at Shadwell. The work will also include major repairs to the piers and supporting abutments on both sides of the bridge. That substructure work is necessary due to the condition of the abutments and to modify them to support the new bridge superstructure.

The repair work on the abutments and piers will be done while traffic is using the bridge.

Once the project reaches the deck-replacement phase Route 250 will be closed to traffic on both sides of the bridge. The road closure is scheduled for spring 2012 and is anticipated to last no longer than 10 weeks. The project contract includes significant incentive and penalty clauses intended to minimize the length of the road closure.

Several design options were considered including the use of a temporary structure to maintain traffic on Route 250 during the project. With the exception of replacing the superstructure on the existing alignment all other options required additional right of way, delayed the project for several years and increased the cost.

Because the bridge is in poor condition and carries a high volume of traffic VDOT determined that the project should be accelerated to construction as quickly as possible.

Road Closure and Detour

Route 250 will be closed to through traffic on both sides of the bridge while the superstructure and deck are replaced. This work is scheduled for a 10-week period beginning May 1. 

Access to all commercial and private entrances near the bridge will be maintained during the closure. Route 22 (Louisa Road) and Route 729 (North Milton Road) will also remain open during the bridge closure.

During the closure traffic that normally uses Route 250 in the Shadwell area will be detoured off Route 250 using Interstate 64 between Exit 124, Route 250 (Richmond Road) at Pantops Mountain and Exit 129, Route 616 (Black Cat Road).


Information and Resources

Public Hearing Brochure, April 5, 2011 Adobe Acrobat PDF (200 KB)

Weight Limit on Rt. 250 Shadwell Bridge Reduced to 15 Tons, news release March 3, 2011 Adobe Acrobat PDF (34 KB)

Map of Detour Route Adobe Acrobat PDF (478 KB)

Traffic Management Plan Adobe Acrobat PDF (1013 KB)

Detour Flyer Adobe Acrobat PDF (281 KB)

News release: VDOT, Albemarle Co. Plan for Rt. 250 Bridge Closure

News release: Shadwell Bridge Will Close May 1

News release: VDOT Completing Work for Shadwell Bridge Closure

News release: Trucks Temporarily Banned from Two Shadwell Roads

News release: Shadwell Bridge Will Reopen to Traffic June 15

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Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012