Pedestrian Bridge at Long Branch Under Construction, Expected to be Completed by Early October

Fairfax County is about to replace a 330 foot pedestrian bridge across the Long Branch stream valley at Pickett Road. The new bridge will be of fiberglass construction, costing a fraction of a similar bridge made of steel. It is only the second of its kind to be used in the county.

The bridge will be shipped in sections, and is manufactured by E.T. Techtonics. It is made of fiber reinforced polymer components that will provide the new bridge with a strength-to-weight ratio greater than steel.

Demolition of the current 40-year old bridge is now underway. The contractor, Environmental Quality Resources, mobilized last week to establish erosion and sediment controls, including construction entrances and temporary ramps to the work area which will be restored after the project is completed.
The actual scope of this long-awaited project includes replacement of the bridge, five support piers and restoration of the channel outfall in the streambed. This channel restoration makes use of innovative natural stream practices to repair the degraded channel, and will include waterfalls and pools to slow down the current velocities, rock walls to protect the bridge piers and the channel, and the use of indigenous plantings along the banks. The pictures included in this article show the obvious deterioration of the existing bridge.

This project has been under design for several years and required significant utility relocations, permits from VDOT and the protection of a gas line that did not appear on initial surveys. It will take approximately 90 days and will be completed in early October, weather permitting.

The bridge provides a significant pedestrian connection to Little Run and Olde Creek Elementary Schools, Frost Middle School and Woodson High School. It also facilitates direct access to Olde Forge Park.

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