Virginia Department of Transportation—Chatham Bridge Rehabilitation and Shared Use Path

Built in 1941, Chatham Bridge in downtown Fredericksburg posted with a 15-ton weight limit for single-unit vehicles, with a bridge superstructure and substructure classified as “poor” on the National Bridge Inspection Standards scale. Steady, severe deterioration in the bridge deck was accelerated further by record-setting rainfall in 2018. Narrow, 4-foot-wide sidewalks were not suitable for pedestrians. To fix all this, Virginia DOT significantly transformed the Chatham Bridge by adding a 10-foot-wide shared use path for bikes and pedestrians that connects to a local trail, a more expansive bridge deck, new LED lighting, and a scenic overlook of the Rappahannock River. Because of this $23 million rehabilitation project, that vehicle weight limit was lifted, allowing vehicles with legal loads and heavier emergency response equipment to cross the bridge, improving efficiency and emergency response.