Damage to Roads, Bridges From Tropical Storm Lee Could Top $10 Million


No one was injured when the Lorton Road bridge over Giles Run washed away. (VDOT Photo)

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews continue to assess road and bridge damage in northern Virginia from Tropical Storm Lee, which destroyed three bridges on secondary roads and damaged pavement on dozens of roads.

“Our initial assessment indicates that there could be up to $10 million in damages to bridges and roads in Fairfax County,” said Garrett Moore, VDOT District Administrator for northern Virginia. “We will make repairs as quickly as possible. We could even see more pavement and slope failures in the coming days, in addition to potholes.”

By the end of the weekend, VDOT engineers completed assessments on more than 200 bridges.

Three bridges in Fairfax County were destroyed and will be replaced with temporary structures:

  • Lorton Road over Giles Run will be temporarily replaced within two months. The posted detour route will be a little more than eight miles long. This road carries about 6,000 vehicles a day.
  • Beach Mill Road over Nichols Branch will be temporarily replaced within six weeks. Beach Mill Road carries about 1,700 vehicles a day. The posted detour will be approximately six miles long.
  • Towlston Road will be temporarily replaced within six weeks. This road carries about 350 vehicles a day, and the posted detour will be approximately two and a half miles long.

This bridge on Beach Mill Road will be temporarily replaced within six weeks. (VDOT Photo)

Plans were already underway to permanently replace each bridge that was damaged by the flooding. Construction for the permanent bridges on Beach Mill Road and Towlston Road is scheduled to begin in 2012, and a Fairfax County project for relocating Lorton Road, which includes a new bridge over Giles Run, is scheduled to begin in 2013.

In addition to the three locations above, the following roads are also reported closed as of Monday morning, Sept. 12 (all are in Fairfax County):

  • Sunrise Valley Drive eastbound between Glade Drive and Mercator Drive
  • Hillside Road (both directions) between Moverly Court and Cameo Square
  • Essex Avenue (both directions) at Middlesex Avenue
  • Miller Road (both directions) at Westhurst Lane
  • Hunter Mill Road (both directions) between Crowell Road and Chamberlain Drive
  • Walker Road (both directions) between Colvin Run Road and Walker Mill Road

For the most updated listing of road conditions by county, including major and secondary road closures, call 511 or visit www.511virginia.org and click on Road Conditions. Northern Virginia traffic information is also available on Twitter @511northernva.

To report road flooding, traffic signal outages, or debris and downed trees in roadways, contact VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623).


About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.