|RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia Department of Transportation project has been named a Top 12 national finalist in the America’s Transportation Awards competition sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). VDOT’s Chatham Bridge Rehabilitation and Shared Use Path Project, received top honors in the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) regional competition in the Quality of Life/Community Development category.
“This recognition highlights the Youngkin administration’s commitment to preserving and improving vital infrastructure for the benefit of all,” said Secretary of Transportation W. Sheppard Miller, III. “From regional megaprojects to local improvements, we are committed to building a transportation system that fuels economic growth and improves the quality of life for the entire Commonwealth.”
Now advancing as a Top 12 finalist from 80 nominees from 37 states, the Chatham Bridge Rehabilitation and Shared Use Path Project will be considered for the top national awards: a grand prize, determined by an independent panel of transportation industry experts; and the People’s Choice Award, selected through online voting. Voting for the People’s Choice Award is open through Friday, Oct. 21 at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org. Winners will be announced at AASHTO’s annual meeting in October.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition from our peers for improving quality of life and enhancing our communities across the Commonwealth,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich, P.E. “The Chatham Bridge Rehabilitation Project not only connects communities through multi-modal transportation options, but provides opportunities for people of all ages to walk and bike safely in the beautiful natural areas along the Rappahannock River.”
The Chatham Bridge Rehabilitation and Shared Use Path Project transformed an 80-year-old bridge by connecting it with a Stafford County trail along River Road that passes underneath the Chatham Bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists now have uninterrupted, dedicated pedestrian facilities from Pratt Park in Stafford that cross the river and connect with the sidewalk and trail network in the City of Fredericksburg. Improvements also include new LED lighting and a scenic overlook of the Rappahannock River. The Chatham Bridge carries around 16,000 vehicles a day and connects Stafford and the City of Fredericksburg.
The $23.4 million project also removed the vehicle weight limit allowing vehicles with legal loads and heavier emergency response equipment to cross the bridge, improving efficiency and emergency response.
The I-66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project, was also recognized in the SASHTO regional competition in the Quality of Life/Community Development category. This project eased a choke point on eastbound I-66 that regularly snarled traffic by adding an additional travel lane along approximately four miles of eastbound I-66 from the Dulles Connector Road to Fairfax Drive (Exit 71). Improvements also included the replacement of dilapidated noise walls, ramp modifications and bridge widening. This project is a part of VDOT’s Transform 66 Inside the Beltway program to move more travelers efficiently through the I-66 corridor during peak periods.
Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the America’s Transportation Awards competition recognizes departments of transportation across the country and the projects they deliver to make communities better places to live, work and play. Project nominations fall into one of three categories: Operations Excellence, Best Use of Technology & Innovation and Quality of Life/Community Development.
Photo courtesy VDOT