Aden Road's historic truss bridge returns, reopens

The historic, wrought-iron, truss bridge and the recently constructed one-lane bridge carrying Aden Road, Va. 646, over the Norfolk Southern Railroad have reopened to traffic, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The old truss bridge was fixed and reinstalled to improve safety for drivers, to bring the bridge up to current design standards and to extend the overall life of the bridge. It is now in place to accommodate northbound traffic, alongside the newly constructed span open to southbound vehicles, enabling two-way traffic over the railroad for the first time.

Built in 1882 for the Keystone Bridge Company, the truss bridge was purchased in the early 1900s and moved to Aden Road by Norfolk Southern, which transferred ownership to VDOT in 2014. The old truss structure showed substantial structural deficiencies, so a revised design was developed with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the community to allow the truss bridge to be rehabilitated as well as remain on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge was removed from the railroad crossing in January 2016. The new one-lane bridge opened to traffic in December 2016; it was closed temporarily in July 2018 to facilitate the truss bridge reinstallation and rehabilitation. The truss bridge was put back in place over the railroad in November 2018.

Some final detail work on the $8 million project will occur into the spring without major traffic impacts. The project is financed with federal, state and Prince William County funding. Norfolk Southern donated a construction easement to allow the work to be completed.

Aden Road averages 3,500 vehicles a day at the railroad crossing.

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