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Warren County – South Fork Bridge Replacement – Route 340/522

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Project at a Glance

Begin Date
December 2013

Est Completion Date
Late 2017

Construction Contract: $48.4 million

Lengths and Limits
0.73-mile long From - 0.105-mile south of the intersection with 18th Street To - 0.115-mile north of the intersection with Route 55

G.A. & F.C. Wagman of York, Pa.



Robert Good, P.E.

Project Details

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 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.

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. This situation hinders truck commerce in the area. 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 1,910-foot 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. High traffic projections at the Route 340/522 intersection with Route 55 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 was presented at the public hearing.

The total estimated cost for this project is $72.2 million with $4.9 million for preliminary engineering, $6.3 million for right of way activities, and $61.0 million for construction. The construction estimate includes costs for the bridge construction and all roadway/intersection improvements.

This project’s design complies with Virginia’s Stormwater Management Act, erosion and sediment control regulations and VDOT’s approved stormwater management program. During construction, every reasonable effort will be made to protect the environment with respect to dust and erosion control, and access to all properties will be maintained.

Potential impacts to the flood plains will be evaluated and addressed on this project. During construction canoe passage will be assured with a temporary portage.

Project Location (latitude, longitude): 38.941944, -78.199722

Key Dates

Design plans were approved by VDOT Chief Engineer Malcolm T. Kerley, P.E. on October 14, 2010.

Construction began December 2013, and is scheduled for completion in December 2017.

Media and Public Events

Citizen Information Meeting: January 27, 2010  
Meeting time:  4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A. S. Rhodes Elementary
224 W. Strasburg Rd.
Front Royal, Virginia   22630  

Public Hearing: August 3, 2010
Meeting time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Front Royal Volunteer Fire Department
221 North Commerce Avenue
Front Royal, VA 22630

Benefits of Project

The project will replace the existing deteriorating bridge, which does not effectively serve modern traffic and vehicle weights.  The new wider bridge will help ease traffic congestion in the corridor and will have bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  These features will improve multi-modal user safety.  The longer turning lanes and the new left-turn lane at 18th Street will increase overall safety in the area.  Improvements made at the Route 55 intersection will enhance safety and reduce energy consumption by significantly enhancing traffic flow in the area and reducing traffic backups.

During Construction

In order to maintain traffic during construction, the new bridge location will be slightly offset to the east, matching alignment with the new North Fork Bridge.  There will be four lanes of traffic during all construction phases. Pedestrian traffic access across the bridge will continue throughout the construction period.

Traffic Alerts

From January to March 2017, motorists should be alert for nighttime traffic delays near the Route 340/522/55 intersection as new steel girders are delivered to the construction site from Interstate 66. Deliveries take place after 7 p.m., two nights a week between Monday through Thursday. Delays should be no more than 30 minutes at a time. Police will assist with traffic control.

Route 340/522 - Lane shift at 17th street and temporary traffic signal at intersection of Route 340/522 and Route 55. Lane closures as needed Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly. 18th street is open to traffic with left turn restrictions until summer 2017.

Route 55 – Temporary traffic shift in place for eastbound and westbound lanes bewteen Route 340/522 and A.S. Rhodes Elementary School (0.3 miles west of 340/522). Pavement markings, signs and traffic barrels will guide drivers through this area. Lane closures as needed Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly. Changes in effect through summer 2017.

Current traffic alerts can be found on the VDOT website under Travel Center, Travel advisories and lane closures. Click on the area of the state you are interested in, and view current travel advisories and lane closures. Click here to go to the Staunton District Travel Center page:  Staunton District


Real-time traffic information is available on the VDOT website and also by calling 511 on your landline or wireless phone.  Click here to go to 511:  Virginia 511 Web

Project Numbers

State Project: 0340-093-127,P101, R201, C501, B609
Federal Project: BR-093-8(016)
UPC:  76469

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Page last modified: Feb. 17, 2017