A Big Lift: VDOT Crews Move Historic Truss Bridge for Rehabilitation Work

The effort to restore the John G. Lewis Memorial Bridge on Featherbed Lane reached an important milestone this morning when the truss structure was lifted off and moved to side. That well-choreographed maneuver makes way for the construction of a new bridge platform on which the trusses will be remounted this fall.

Variety Iron Works constructed the bridge in 1889 over Goose Creek on the Leesburg & Alexandria Turnpike, now Rt. 7. It was moved to its current location spanning Catoctin Creek in 1932. The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Because of its deteriorating condition, the Virginia Department of Transportation instituted weight restrictions across the bridge in 2013 as conversation turned to replacing the structure. A coalition of community leaders—including members of the Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Board, the Piedmont Environmental Council, historians, preservationists and area residents—organized efforts to retain the historic nature of the bridge.

Many of those advocates were on-site this morning to witness the move, celebrating the work with a champagne toast.

“The important thing is that all of these people and organizations came together and created an enduring plan to save this historic bridge,” said Al Van Huyck, of theLoudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition. “I salute all of you and hope that we will all remember this success in the years to come as a great and successful example of how a community and VDOT came together to create and implement a plan for saving a Loudoun landmark for all of its citizens now and in the future.”

The $5.6 million project is expected to wrap up by November.  Learn more about the rehabilitation work here.

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