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NO QUICK FIX FOR CHATHAM BRIDGE
Paving work on the Chatham Bridge and Route 3 will continue for a couple weeks

 A VDOT crew patches the concrete deck of the 71-year-old Chatham Bridge in preparation for repaving the span.
MARIE SICOLA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/27/2012

BY SCOTT SHENK

It's been a rough time riding on the Chatham Bridge and State Route 3 in southern Stafford County.

Most of the eastbound stretch of Route 3 is paved now, but it'll be another couple weeks of bumpy rides on the bridge over the Rappahannock River.

The milling and paving project started earlier this month, with crews tearing out the asphalt pavement on the bridge and the highway to the Ferry Road area.

Tina Bundy of the Virginia Department of Transportation said the work is being done in phases, with the bridge likely to be the last portion completed.

That's because crews are currently patching the concrete deck of the bridge, which was built in 1941, and is listed as structurally deficient.

That rating doesn't mean the bridge is unsafe, rather that it needs work and has to be monitored.

After the current patching work is complete, the bridge will be repaved.

Bundy said that work should be done in "a couple weeks."

The Route 3 eastbound lanes to just beyond Ferry Road have mostly been paved.

The other portion of the project is on the Route 3 westbound flyover ramp to the Blue and Gray Parkway. That work could be completed next week, depending on the weather.

Crews are scheduled to mill and pave both ends of the Route 3 westbound flyover.

The flyover will be closed for the work, which will be done from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Westbound drivers can continue on Route 3 and make a U-turn to get back to the Blue and Gray Parkway while work at the flyover is being done.

Otherwise, for those who want to avoid the Chatham Bridge while work there continues, the Blue and Gray Parkway is a good alternate route between Stafford and Fredericksburg.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com