Resurfacing of Lee Drive scheduled at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Resurfacing work on Lee Drive at the Fredericksburg Battlefield will leave sections of the roadway unsuitable for bicyclists for at least three months.
Contractors for the National Park Service are scheduled to begin the repair and resurfacing of North Lee Drive and South Lee Drive on the Fredericksburg Battlefield the week of July 22. This work will include repairs of deteriorated sections of the roadway and the installation of a “chip-seal” surface on the length of the roads—aggregate (a brownish pea-gravel) distributed on a thin base of emulsified asphalt.
Warm weather and the use of the road by vehicles helps the aggregate adhere to the asphalt, but this process can often take eight weeks or more. While the work is going on and until the aggregate and asphalt bond, loose aggregate will make Lee Drive unsafe for bicyclists. This will be the case throughout the construction period and for approximately eight weeks after work has concluded—a total of at least three months for each segment of Lee Drive. Cyclists choosing to use Lee Drive during this time do so at their own risk.
Chip-seal is often used on low-traffic, low-speed roads like tour roads in National Parks. The color of aggregate can be selected to be more compatible with the surrounding landscape. The surface also tends to reduce vehicle speeds, an important consideration on a road like Lee Drive, where vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists often intermix.
Construction activity should cause only minor disruptions of vehicular traffic. Message boards on Lee Drive will warn cyclists and pedestrians of the upcoming work. The NPS will provide additional details on the timing of work as the project develops.