Moneta bridge construction will include safety improvements along Route 122

By  | 

MONETA, Va. (WDBJ7) First responders say accidents are common at Route 122 and Stony Fork Road in Bedford County.

From 2011 to 2015, the Virginia Department of Transportation says there were 39 accidents at the intersection. None were deadly but engineers believe safety improvements are needed.

When a bridge over Goose Creek is replaced in a few years, crews will improve sight distance and widen the turn radius for drivers at the nearby intersection.

"Fixing the bridge and fixing the alignment, to make the minor safety improvements that we can make at this time," said VDOT spokesperson Paula Jones.

Some believe the project should include more significant improvements. Bedford's County administrator Carl Boggess recently sent a letter to VDOT asking them to straighten out the curves on 122 and replace the Goose Creek bridge farther downstream.

VDOT wanted the bridge project to include some more extensive work to straighten out Route 122, but additional funding was not available.

"The money is not there to improve the alignment to a greater extent, so we are taking some baby steps along the way," explained Jones.

VDOT considered building its new structure in an area where the road could be straightened and only one bridge would be needed. That would have raised the project's price tag by about $14 million.

Since the current bridge built in 1938 is showing signs of age, engineers didn't want to wait for additional funding.

"We certainly don't want it to get to the point where we have to face emergency repairs, which could impact traffic to a much greater extent," said Jones.

Work to replace the bridge and improve the nearby intersection could begin as early as 2019.