Leesburg Bypass Bridge Condition Raises Concern

A citizen concern about the condition of the Leesburg Bypass bridge over South King Street was a focal point of discussion during Monday’s Leesburg Town Council work session.

The concern was related to the spalling of the bridge concrete, along with a bridge pier showing exposed steel. A resident recently reached out to both town staff and VDOT directly to express her worries about the structural integrity of the bridge. 

The bridge’s western expansion joint was repaired by VDOT in October 2020, and the bridge was most recently inspected by VDOT in June 2021, said Bud Siegel, deputy director of the Public Works and Capital Projects Department. 

In that inspection, the bridge received a General Condition Rating of 6 for its bridge deck, 6 for the super-structure, and 6 for the sub-structure, using ascending scale ratings developed by the National Bridge Inspection Society. A GCR of 0 means the bridge is in failing condition and needs to be replaced; a top score of 9 means the bridge is in excellent condition. A score of 6 is “satisfactory,” according to VDOT’s Fiscal Year 2021 State of the Structures and Bridges report.

VDOT’s programming of bridge maintenance funding is predicated on a bridge’s condition rating, and funding is limited to those bridges that have a GCR of 4 or below. VDOT’s Northern Virginia district is responsible for 2,300 bridges and culverts. More than 300 bridges, or around 13%, have a GCR of 5, Siegel said.

Siegel said VDOT staff indicated the spalling and exposed ancillary steel observed by the citizen doesn’t significantly impact the bridge’s structural integrity, although they acknowledged it was unattractive. VDOT staff has said, however, it will remove the some of the concrete to eliminate danger from falling concrete, Siegel said. The bridge, they concluded, is not falling or in a pending state of collapse. 

One action item that is expected to come out of Town Council related to the bridge is a request to the Commonwealth Transportation Board to allocate additional funding for bridge and culvert maintenance repair. Inadequate funding of those types of projects, Siegel said, is a national issue. The council was expected to vote on that request at its meeting Tuesday evening.

16 thoughts on “Leesburg Bypass Bridge Condition Raises Concern

  • 2022-05-10 at 4:23 pm
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    All part of the general decline. A contributing factor is the amount of road salt and brine used on Loudoun’s roads — the same stuff rusting out our vehicles and polluting our waterways. It’s over applied. Then in the spring, it’s not cleaned up on bridges. It piles up on the sides along with sand and other debris, and corrodes the bridge slowly. A simple street sweeping and spray down would improve things greatly. Yet, it doesn’t happen.

    Untold billions spent for “infrastructure” going back 20 years, and still everything is going backwards. Where did all that money go? Really… where? Instead of being the nation of doers, we’ve slowly regressed to do nothings. Let the next crowd deal with it. All part of the decline.

  • 2022-05-10 at 4:58 pm
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    We the overtaxed, paid $4,400,000 for the Bypass/Greenway construction project, only to quickly realize that the work did absolutely nothing to improve the situation.

    The backups are still awful. And the ramps are still too steep and tightly-radiused.

    What was the point?

  • 2022-05-10 at 6:23 pm
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    Well, I learned a new word by reading this article: “Spalling.” I had to Google that one. Please, by all means ensure the safety of this bridge. There are too many horror stories of bridges failing & motorists plummeting to their death. Loudoun could do without such a tragedy. Happy Spring Loudoun!

    • 2022-05-11 at 10:00 am
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      “Motorists plummeting to their deaths”

      In the last twenty years, there have been seven bridge failures which resulted in deaths.
      Seven.
      In twenty years.
      There are more than a half million bridges in the United States.

  • 2022-05-10 at 6:58 pm
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    As bad as that looks, check out the Point of Rocks Bridge. It has rust on a lot of the side structure that has eaten through in many places. Maryland HIghway folks say it is fine, maybe so, but I avoid it!

  • 2022-05-12 at 10:02 am
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    Hey I’ve got an idea!

    Let’s cut the gas tax and starve Virginia’s transportation network from needed funds for deferred maintenance?

    Republicans like Glen Youngkin love to burn the furniture while they walk around telling everyone how warm the house is. Their game is to be gone by the time people realize there’s no place to sit.

    Developers and republican politicians play right along with each….. don’t worry about all those houses, we’re going to build a new bridge (with no plan and no dedicated funds for maintenance) They’re just incapable of long term planning.

    • 2022-05-12 at 9:07 pm
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      Reality Check:

      There has been a (D) governor in Virginia for 16 of the last 20 years. And the (D)s have been running Leesburg and Loudoun into the ground for the past several years.

      But I guess you think all this “deferred maintenance” popped up over the past four months?

  • 2022-05-13 at 1:26 pm
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    Golly Gee Ace. Silly me. Here I was thinking that Republicans have controlled the General Assembly for decades? (they’re the guys who pass budgets)

    I must be mistaken? Those guys weren’t really republicans? They were RHINOs?

    The cognitive dissonance you employ must be exhausting.

    PS- Governors serve one term in Virginia- the legislature, not so much.

    • 2022-05-13 at 9:02 pm
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      Is Glenn Youngkin in the General Assembly, or are you simply cherry picking your complaints?

      Cognitive dissonance, indeed.

      • 2022-05-16 at 11:50 am
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        Glen Youngkin is the politician who proposed cutting the gas tax. Predictably, his republican buddies in the General Assembly thought it was a fine idea.

        Try and keep up. I don’t have time to bring you up to speed if you can’t bother to learn the simplest of details.

        • 2022-05-17 at 2:42 pm
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          In contrast to the governor’s plan of a 3 month fuel tax holiday, democrats wanted to mail drivers a one time $50 gas card, which won’t pay for a single fill up. Neither passed, taxes are still collected, and the roads still suck.

          Keep up AFF — Everyone in the GA could care less about you, or me, or Ace. They despise us with equal enthusiasm.

          In other news, this Loudoun Now article must have lit a fire somewhere. I saw a protective barrier around the pillars has been installed.

    • 2022-05-17 at 8:50 am
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      Just so I’ve got this straight…

      You blame a (R) Governor who’s been in office for five months but not the previous governors who happen to be (D)s. Right? Even though none of them have budgetary control, according to your previous comment.

      So really, it just comes down to the letter after the politicians name. LOL. This is comical. But totally not unexpected.

  • 2022-05-13 at 4:43 pm
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    Youngkin is in office only 4 months and already he is making VA like Texas, Floriduh and Georgia. Lucky us to have such a poor leader. The next few years will be embarrassing to have him “fleecing” us on a daily basis. Elections do have consequences.

    • 2022-05-15 at 12:03 pm
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      Wow, that’s quite a complement, isn’t it?

      I mean Texas and Florida have massive net population increases.. you know… people who are fleeing Blue states, due to high taxes, high crime and government overreach.

      And they’re also enjoying a surge in business relocations… hey, didn’t I just hear about how Youngkin (R) got Boeing to move their HQ to Arlington. From Illinois.

      If you like how states like California, New York and New Jersey treat their residents, then there’s nothing stopping anyone from moving there. But they aren’t, are they?

  • 2022-05-16 at 6:31 pm
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    Two people refer to Youngkin. The state needs to sue the bridge contractor for putting up an overpass that decayed in only 4 months. That’s some quicked cheap cement. I remember when this over pass was built 4 months ago thinking I hope Youngkin didn’t allow them to use cheap cement.

  • 2022-05-17 at 8:45 am
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    Dems/progressives just love to screw things up and then blame others.
    When will people wise up and realize Democrat policies are leading us all off the cliff?
    Defending dems must be a terribly tiresome and frustrating…………so much calamity and so little to work with. Then again no one every accused dems of being the brightest bulbs. See Biden, Pelosi, Waters,,Schumer, AOC, Briskman, Randall……………and on and on

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