Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the bridge honors John G. Lewis.
The reopening of the historic John G. Lewis Memorial Bridge was celebrated as a major step for Loudoun County, Virginia, during a ceremony on Friday.
The bridge connects Featherbed Lane above the stretch that goes over Catoctin Creek in Lovettsville.
Following rehabilitation, the truss bridge now has a new steel beam and timber deck bridge. Construction crews added a new bridge pier and upgraded the railings, according to a statement from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The project had been about six years in the making.
Virginia Department of Transportation documented part of the rehabilitation project when crews “picked” the bridge from Featherbed Lane in April 2021.
It’s Bridge Pick Friday! Crews just “picked” the John G. Lewis Memorial Bridge (on Featherbed Lane in Lovettsville) off of its abutments to start the rehab of the historic truss. Take a listen to #Ray (yep he’s cool enough to get a #) give a project update! #caissons pic.twitter.com/4vOZVwbFAW
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) April 9, 2021
VDOT closed Featherbed Lane in January 2021 and opened more than a year later in December 2022. Finishing touches were finished in February ahead of the reopening celebration Friday. According to VDOT’s website, an average of 60 vehicles cross the bridge a day.
The transportation department said the rehabilitation project cost an estimated $5.1 million, breaking down to $1 million for preliminary engineering, $25,000 for right of way acquisition and $4 million for construction.
The John G. Lewis Memorial Bridge was initially built to replace a bridge destroyed by flooding in 1889 on the Leesburg & Alexandria Turnpike, currently Route 7, over Goose Creek. And almost a century ago, in 1932, the bridge was dismantled and moved to its current location, VDOT said.
What an exciting day reopening the John G. Lewis Memorial Bridge in Lovettsville! Special thanks to Loudoun Co. Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall, @calebkershnerva, & Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee Co-Chair David Nelson!
More: https://t.co/5YfWaK6oFr pic.twitter.com/mnRSTkwF88
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 10, 2023
John Lewis was a central figure in Loudoun’s historic preservation movement, which was highlighted best by his role in preventing the Fairfax Water Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from damming Catoctin Creek in 1974, according to Leesburg Today.
He also helped create historic districts in 10 town and villages throughout Loudoun County, including Watertown and Taylorsville.
Lewis passed away in 2013 at the age of 80.
Visit VDOT’s project webpage for more information about the project.
Below is where the John G. Lewis Memorial Bridge is located.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.