Did early January accident damage Germantown Road bridge?

Published 12:24 am Friday, January 19, 2024

Yes, the Germantown Road bridge needs to be repaired. Officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation acknowledged to The Herald that a recent traffic accident caused damage to the structure, but said it should still be safe for vehicles. 

First off, this stems from a Tuesday, Jan. 2 incident. According to Virginia State Police officials, troopers were called out at 6:30 a.m., to respond to a single-vehicle crash in Prince Edward County. During their investigation, troopers found that a dump truck that was traveling west on 460 struck the Germantown Road overpass. It appears the driver didn’t realize the vehicle was in the dump position until it hit the bridge. There were no fatalities and only one person, the dump truck driver, was injured in the incident. He was taken to Centra Southside Community Hospital and then later released, after being treated for non-life threatening injuries. No charges were filed in the incident. Meanwhile, the bridge itself does need work. 

“Repairs are needed to the bridge, but the bridge is safe for traffic,” said Len Stevens. He works as public relations director for VDOT’s Lynchburg district, of which Prince Edward is part. “(The bridge) did take substantial damage, but our Bridge team inspected it in detail.” 

Germantown Road bridge not a quick fix

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Now this isn’t something simple, where a work crew can drop in and patch up the bridge in a week. Instead, VDOT is going to need some help. 

“We have to design the fix,” Stevens said. “It will involve hiring a consultant (and) it will take some time.” 

As far as how long, Stevens couldn’t give an estimate. That’s mainly because he’s not sure how long it will take to hire a consultant, get repair plans designed and then get the money approved to pay for it. 

“It is difficult to pinpoint a timeline right now,” Stevens said.