My friend Dave Harrison, a cyclist and current chair of the City of Roanoke’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, sent me this message this morning:
VDOT is considering demolishing the John Richardson Road (Rt. 743) bridge in north Roanoke County and building a del-de-sac on the western end of Rt. 743. The bridge was made impassible for any traffic by first dumping a gravel pile on it and then also by fencing it off. Before being closed the bridge was frequently used by bicyclists. The bridge is unsound for motor vehicle traffic but is suitable for bicycle and pedestrian use. It seems no one has considered the possibility that the neighborhood can have a cul-de-sac AND that the bridge can be saved for bicycle and pedestrian use. Please either write or e-mail Mr. Richard L. Caywood, P.E., Salem District Administrator, requesting that the bridge remain open for bicycle and pedestrian use only. You may write to him at PO Box 3071, Salem, VA 24153 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject reference: “John Richardson Road Bridge Comment.” All comments must be RECEIVED by Sunday, November 7. Please write today.
This sounds like a good opportunity to save some existing infrastructure and add bicycle/pedestrian accommodations to Roanoke County, which is sorely lacking in them. Consider following Dave’s advice and getting in touch with VDOT.
UPDATE: If you zoom in on this Google maps link, you should be able to see the bridge in question.