Repairs to Virginia bridges damaged in the flooding from Tropical Storm Lee are going more slowly than residents would like.
At least three bridges and a half dozen roads in Fairfax remain closed as crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation continue to assess damage from last week’s storms.
The bridges include spans on Lorton Road over Giles Run, Beach Mill Road over Nichols Branch and a third on Towlston Road. Officials from VDOT say all three were destroyed in the storm and will be replaced with temporary structures until they can be permanently replaced.
There’s a one-lane bridge that was damaged on Hunter Mill Road between Crowell Road and Chamberlin Drive. This portion is still closed, turning away two or three drivers every minute, forcing area motorists to make adjustments.
Jim Fagan’s just discovered this on his way to work. “I didn’t expect this. I was unaware that the bridge was closed," he says. Fagan says he’s not surprised considering the age of the bridge and low water table in the area, but he’ll make do.
“It’s not the end of the world. I’ve gotta go back out, and I think I know where I’m going just make a couple of turns then head back to route 7," he says.
Kurt Winkle, who also lives in the neighborhood, says he was hoping the bridge would be fixed by now.
“I came to see if anybody’s working on it and obviously they’re not," Winkle says. "I tried to get them to post signs down the street so people wouldn’t have to come down here. I’ve talked to VDOT, I’ve talked to the police department and nothing’s happened.”
Joan Morris, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation, says residents will have to be patient.
“There is going to be inconvenience to residents in the area, and cars are going to have to travel several miles out of their way, unfortunately, but our goal here at VDOT is to get the repairs done as quickly as possible," says Morris.
Morris says she expects the interim repair work on the county’s roads and bridges will take about six weeks. Damage estimates could reach $10 million.