Goose Creek Bridge Demolition Contract Awarded - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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Goose Creek Bridge Demolition Contract Awarded

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:38 pm | Updated: 4:42 pm, Thu Jan 17, 2013.

A year and a half after its removal was approved by the previous Board of Supervisors, sitting supervisors have approved a contract for the demolition of the Goose Creek Bridge, but for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than anticipated.

Supervisors Wednesday night voted unanimously to approve a $648,500 contract with Shirley Contracting Company to demolish the steel truss bridge, which was built in 1932.

In July 2011, the previous board voted to move forward with demolition of the bridge to the tune of $195,000. Supervisors voted for demolition of the bridge rather than spending the around $1.6 million it would take to restore the structure.

However, the need for risk management in the demolition of the bridge has brought the price up by around $435,000. According to the county’s information, the lack of existing bridge drawings to confirm the sizes of the bridge’s structural members means neither the contractor nor the county can prepare a load rating for the bridge. That means the contractor cannot safely place heavy equipment on the bridge, and larger and more expensive equipment must be used to demolish the bridge safely. In addition, the project site is constrained with access to the east side of the bridge limited because of the Rt. 7 bridges.

Built in 1932 to carry Rt. 7 traffic over the Goose Creek, the bridge has fallen into disrepair since vehicular traffic ended on the bridge in the late 1980s when Rt. 7 was widened with a new alignment and a new bridge.

The bridge is part of the Keep Loudoun Beautiful Park and is used as a scenic overlook for visitors and hikers. It also is part of the National Park Service's Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail network. The bridge and three acres were acquired by the county from the Virginia Department of Transportation in 1992, in a first bid by county supervisors to save the structure from demolition.

In 2005, as part of a rehabilitation design contract, an inspection of the bridge was conducted and the repair recommendations stemming from that review were the foundation for a federal SAFETEA-LU grant to rehabilitate the bridge. But the county determined the amount of the grant would not be enough to repair the bridge and a previous Board of Supervisors declined to allocate any additional money in the Capital Improvements Program in FY06 or FY07 when county staff members presented it as an option.

In April 2010, the remaining $789,000 in the SAFETEA-LU grant expired and was reallocated to other projects in Virginia.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • eyeday posted at 6:40 pm on Sun, Nov 10, 2013.

    eyeday Posts: 1

    Why did they take this bridge down? It used to be a driving bridge, but has only been was a walking bridge for many years. Now, we can't access the trail anymore to Goose Creek, a wonderful hiking and fishing spot that we have enjoyed for many years. Not happy.

  • norges55 posted at 7:48 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    Like the one fellow suggested get the Army Corp of Engineers to demolish said bridge as a training exercise and Loudoun recycles the metal!

  • norges55 posted at 7:44 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    Put a fence around it and charge 100 bucks to anyone caught trespassing!

  • Frank Reynolds posted at 8:23 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 620

    The Board's "friends" at Shirley Contracting probably need the work. Not enough road construction going on.

  • Jim L posted at 4:33 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Jim L Posts: 1

    Why are they tearing this bridge down? Not like anyone is using it and it provides a great glimpse into our area's historical hertiage. I can't believe that money cannot be used much more prudently elsewhere...

  • itscrankin posted at 5:43 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    itscrankin Posts: 64

    Only in Loudoun County do we apparently have enough money to buy a bridge just to destroy it. We must all be made of money here...

    I'm with the other commenters on this one. What is the rush to demolish the bridge? Is is threatening anything or anyone? It certainly doesn't seem like an eyesore to me when I drive past it, so it can't be for "beautification purposes".

    I'd really like to see Leesburg Today practice some investigative journalism and get to the bottom of why there's suddenly such a need to tear this down. I'd also like to understand why Shirley didn't do what appears to be their due diligence when first bidding on this... I suspect there's more to the story than currently reported.

  • Frank Reynolds posted at 7:54 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 620

    Isn't it just part of a walking trail now? Is it unsafe for pedestrians? Why not leave it? Unless this thing is an immediate hazard, spend the money elsewhere.

    Heck, people DRIVE over bridges that are nearly "failing" all the time because everyone in this country think infrastructure improvements are completed by the public works fairy for free. You can't tell me this pedestrian walkway is a bigger hazard than that.

  • clamb posted at 8:40 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    clamb Posts: 15

    I remember when the new bridge was built, the cost of demolishing the old one was part of the price. Then the county intervened to 'save' it at the request of their buddies at KLB. Once again, county cronyism costs us a fortune.

  • Bob_Smith posted at 4:34 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Bob_Smith Posts: 438

    1992...2012...just a little time went by, and some things in the County changed just a WEEEE bit in that period...but go ahead and MMQB the decision of 20 years ago to preserve a bridge that, only a couple years before, was carrying cars (I remember it!).
    Why can't it stay and just rot away...liability. NG practice, that's funny, but inventive.

    I'd like to know why this demo 'risk management' wasn't (was it??) part of the equation in the 2011 estimate. But ya know what, if this is what Shirley wants to charge for it, and it needs to be taken down, then that is what the County must pay, or else, start from scratch. I'd re-bid it myself in quick fashion and see if Shirley finds some 'creative solutions' to reduce the cost, if they really want the job. But, it is a fairly difficult job, given the limited access to it for equipment, mitigating impacts to the creek rushing below it, and inevitable interruptions of Rt. EB traffic (how do you think it will be taken away...via Rt. 7).

  • David Dickinson posted at 2:11 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    David Dickinson Posts: 920

    So, Loudoun County bought a bridge so we could pay $648,500 to tear it down?

    We is a bunch a jeenyasses.

    "The bridge and three acres were acquired by the county from the Virginia Department of Transportation in 1992, in a first bid by county supervisors to save the structure from demolition."

    How much would a barricade at both ends cost? How about some National Guard combat engineers get some practice time in? How about we just leave it alone?

  • norges55 posted at 2:04 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    why don't we leave it as is?