Starting this afternoon, Route 608 (Benchmark Road) in Spotsylvania County will be closed to through traffic between Route 17 and Mine Road for motorist safety after intense rain over the weekend caused the roadway over three drainage pipes to fail.
The rainwater has opened up a hole along the pavement edge measuring 5 feet wide, 14 feet long, and 8 feet deep.
Benchmark Road traffic is currently reduced to a single lane between Route 17 and Mine Road. The road will be closed to traffic today once Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have finished installing detour signs and message boards.
The road is anticipated to be closed until mid-June 2018.
Motorists are encouraged to use the following posted detour route:
· Route 2 (Tidewater Trail)
· Route 17 (Mills Drive)
Message boards are being placed on Route 2, Route 17, Benchmark Road and Mine Road to notify drivers of the road closure ahead. Concrete barriers will be placed to close the road.
An average of 5,100 vehicles a day travel Benchmark Road between Route 17 and Mine Road, according to a 2016 traffic count.
“We regret the additional travel time and inconvenience this emergency road closure will cause for drivers,” said Robbie Prezioso, P.E, VDOT Assistant District Administrator for Maintenance, Fredericksburg District. “Due to the condition of the pipes and the pavement, closing the road is necessary for motorist safety. We will use every tool we have to accelerate construction and re-open this important connector road as soon as we can.”
VDOT will advertise an emergency construction contract to replace the three pipes, which had already been identified for future replacement. Design and preliminary engineering work was underway to replace these pipes as part of a project scheduled to begin in fall 2018.
The current pipes are corrugated metal, and each one is 8 feet tall and 13.5 feet wide. Heavy rain accelerated the deterioration over the weekend. The pipes had deteriorated and rusted away at the base. The weekend rainfall undermined the pipes and washed out the soil supporting portions of the pavement.
The replacement project will install three new concrete pipes of similar dimensions.
VDOT will post project updates to www.VirginiaDOT.org throughout construction.