WASHINGTON — A relief to both trail users and motorists: the new Belmont Ridge Road Bridge over the Washington and Old Dominion Trail is about to open.
The bridge — which is part of the Belmont Ridge Road widening project — is opening around three and a half months ahead of time, according to Mike Murphy with the Virginia Department of Transportation
“Since cars will no longer have to stop for trail users at the crossing, traffic will flow much more smoothly,” he said. “For those on the trail, it’s one less interruption to their rides and runs.”
Starting Monday, the bridge will carry one lane of traffic in the south and northbound direction. Once the southbound span is built, it will become a four lane bridge with two lanes in each direction.
The new bridge is expected to be a huge safety improvement, as the former at-grade trail crossing put cyclists and pedestrians on a potential collision path.
The overall project includes widening Belmont Ridge Road to four lanes, with a grass median and shared-use paths on both sides of the road between Hay Road and Gloucester Parkway in Loudoun County. Additionally, a new parking lot for trail users is being constructed.
VDOT reports the entire project cost $61 million. The project is expected to be completed by late 2018.