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New traffic signal at Sophia and William Streets downtown in flash mode

VDOT has activated the new traffic signal at the Sophia Street and William Street intersection in the City of Fredericksburg.   The signal has been placed in flash mode at the intersection on the city’s approach to the Chatham Bridge work zone.

Currently, the signal is flashing red to indicate to drivers to come to a full stop before proceeding through the intersection on Sophia Street. Travelers must also stop before turning right or left from William Street onto Sophia Street.

The intersection will remain a 3-way stop until the improved Chatham Bridge over the Rappahannock River between the city and Stafford County opens to traffic on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Shortly after opening the bridge to traffic, crews will place the traffic signal into full color operation.

Chatham Bridge has been closed to traffic since June 22, 2020, when a $23.4 million rehabilitation project started to improve the bridge’s condition.

The Chatham Bridge opened to traffic in 1941. It carries an average of 16,000 vehicles a day on Route 3 Business over the Rappahannock River.

The project replaced the bridge deck and travel surface, and repaired the bridge approaches and substructure. Before the project, Chatham Bridge was posted with a 15-ton vehicle weight limit, which will be removed when it reopens.

The slightly wider bridge has a nearly 10-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists and includes a scenic overlook of the Rappahannock River, and connects sidewalks in downtown Fredericksburg with the Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail in Stafford.

Early Sunday, Oct. 10, when traffic volumes are low, crews will remove the barricades and open the bridge to vehicle traffic. Motorists can check for real-time updates that morning for the bridge’s status.

While the Chatham Bridge is reopening to vehicle traffic next month, construction will continue as scheduled through April 2022 to repair the bridge’s substructure. The impact to traffic after the bridge reopens in Oct. will be limited. Only periodic single-lane closures, scheduled at off-peak times, are anticipated.

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