New River Road bridge could open this week

State Highway officials have said the new two-lane concrete bridge over Sleepy Creek along River Road could open to traffic on Thursday, January 10.

Construction and opening of the bridge have been delayed multiple times by flooding in that area.

Contractor Rock Forge Bridge Company LLC started building the new bridge in May. A state contract set October as a completion date, but multiple high water events over the summer put the construction site under water.

The bridge will replace the current one-lane arch structure that has been heavily damaged by trucks in recent years. Signs warn tractor trailers not to use the route as a short-cut between Route 9 and U.S. 522. Another truck was stuck there over the weekend.

The new two-lane bridge has been built slightly downstream and the approach to the bridge from River Road has been straightened out.

Highways officials said early on that the cost of the project was $2.18 million, including engineering and construction.

The old arch bridge, which was built in 1923, will be demolished once the new structure is in service.