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Loudoun bridge is falling down

photoTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Michelle Garbo The Goose Creek bridge is scheduled to be torn down after supervisors on July 19 voted to demolish it.

One of Loudoun’s long-standing bridges, the Goose Creek Bridge, now faces certain destruction after the county Board of Supervisors voted 8-1 on July 19 to destroy it.

“This bridge needs to be demolished,” Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) said.

There wasn’t much of an argument, with Sally Kurtz (D-Catoctin) the lone supervisor to vote in favor of a restoration project that would cost approximately $1.3 million more than demolishing it. Destroying the bridge carries a $195,000 price tag.

The board didn’t believe the bridge had enough historical significance to preserve it. The span was built in 1932 to carry traffic over the Goose Creek and onto Route 7. Vehicular traffic ended on the bridge in the 1980s when a new bridge was built. The county acquired the bridge and the 3 acres surrounding it from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in 1992. Since that time, the bridge has become a scenic overlook for visitors and hikers at the Keep Loudoun Beautiful Park. The bridge is not listed as a state or nationally-recognized historic landmark.

“I think this is more about sentimental value than any kind of historical significance,” Board Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) said. “It was a bridge that was used to get back and forth. We need to move forward, we have a significant amount of other needs.”

After an inspection of the 276-foot bridge in January and February of 2005, the state allocated funds to repair the bridge: $789,000 in fiscal 2005 and fiscal 2006 as part of the Proposed Capital Improvement Project. The Board of Supervisors balked and took no action at the time.

VDOT notified the Board in 2010 that the time frame for the expenditure of state funds toward the bridge had expired and the $789,000 was moved to other state projects.
“I don’t know if we have any other options at this point,” Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac), also on the board for the Loudoun Preservation Society, said. “I have to say, it’s a pretty ugly bridge.”

The Board of Supervisors reiterated throughout the short discussion of the options for the bridge that the Goose Creek Bridge just didn’t mean enough to Loudoun County.
“If the bridge had significant historical value, I could see maybe restoring it,” Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said.

Dewberry, Inc., the company that inspected the bridge for the last several years, presented the Board with four options. The first was to repair and refurbish it, which they estimated would cost upwards of $1.5 million. The second option involved replacing the bridge with a pre-stressed concrete bridge, with an estimated $1.16 million price tag. A third option, replacing the bridge with a continental truss bridge, was similar in price. But just demolishing the bridge with no replacement was by far the cheapest option—only an estimated $194,656 would be required.

There was discussion about what would happen to hikers trying to navigate the trail in the area and the environmental impact on wood turtles.

It was confirmed that hikers have an alternative route to take, but a solution wasn’t brought forward regarding the endangered wood turtles.

“We all of the sudden don’t care about wood turtles,” Delgaudio said.

Regardless, due to the 8-1 vote, the bridge will be torn down.

“We had $700,000 available [a few years ago] but, because we put it off, it didn’t happen,” Waters said. “It was time to make the hard decision — and it was a hard decision — but we needed to get it done.”

It is not known at this time exactly when the bridge will be demolished.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with this bridge structure wise. We moved here this year, and I have used it many times to run over to the paths at Keep Loundoun Beautiful Park (when you can actually run on them and they’re not overrun with tall grass/weeds). The only other way down is to tumble down the hill at Riverside and collect your share of ticks/weird creatures (there’s no frickin’ way down!) or wind your way thru Landsdowne. I guess women who don’t exercise/live here figure hikers can make their way down—no.

It’s BS that they’d tear it down. No historical value?! I can’t find anything about it, granted, but these darn women quoted here don’t live here. I can get over the lack of sidewalks, but, damn it, allow me to run somewhere nice and natural. There’s no other way to cross for miles!! I hate to say this, b/c Montgomery County sucks in so many ways, but at least the officals there saw the importance of giving their residents parks and the value of historic sites. What is wrong with these people? Have they not seen the stones—looking to be Civil War era—there? I hate taxes, and I hate how our tax money is wasted in this supposed conservative area. But damnit, I’d pay to save this bridge!

And another reason to VOTE THEM ALL OUT.
They had free money to fix it and didn’t.

What a short sighted bunch of crap.
Right on Blanchard!

How much does it cost to leave it alone?  Is it unsafe for pedestrian traffic?

The BOS balked and fixing the bridge when the state was paying but now wants to spend money to demolish it?

How many current BOS members did nothing in the past?  How many are up for re-election?

Paul, I admire your enthusiasm, but it has been reported the bridge is covered in lead-based paint? 

So did you factor in EPA permits and studies (and cost to relocation the wood turtles), tenting to collet the paint from the hand scraping, fines for paint that enters the creek, and lawsuits by residents who sue as a hobby (they will find a reason)?

Dear Editor:

No, no, NO!  It

Why is it, that, like this old bridge, people like Joan Rokus and BJ Weeb keep hanging around.  Maybe, some day, Loudoun County will be rid of those two as well.

Feed the poor, clothe the needy.  The bridge is a draw we do not need.

I remember it being mostly underwater during Hurricane Anges in 1972.  The new West bound bridge over rt.7 was finished before the hurricane.  The old bridge was still being used for east bound traffic and it was halfway under water and they were afraid it might come loose and take out the brand new west bound bridge.  Even if it was in good condition right now it could easily take out one or both of the current rt. 7 bridges if another flood occured like from Anges.  Yes the bridge is historical, but do you want to remember it fondly or for something tragic that could cost people their lives and the county alot of money.

what about the fact that the state gave loudoun the money to fix or repair the bridge and they did nothing.  so now we have to pay 200k to tear it down….thats the issue…how many white boards could we have bought with that 200k ?

I like The Turtles…great group of the 60s!

Create a charitable fund.

Give people 10 years to donate the money needed, maybe have the county contribute $1 for every $4 contributed (as it’d cost money to demolish the bridge anyway.)

If the money isn’t collected in 10 years, then obviously people didn’t want it that badly.

The deep pockets of the PEC and the Waterford Foundation etc. should step in and save the bridge.  They have the money and good stewardship needs to come first.  This is a great bridge that should be saved with near private funds.

Loudoun died a long time ago.  Dale Polen Myers dissolved the Dept. of Natural Resources back in the early 90’s…writing was on the wall for me then.  Why would they want to preserve the things that made Loudoun beautiful?..it just stood in their way for ‘progress’.  Loudoun has become just another northern virginia suburb…disgusting.  Thank you, Sally Kurtz for standing up for those of us who once loved this County.

was it to get to the other side?  just saying.  but once again - our BOS continuing to sell out the past and our histor(ies).  Where are all the NATIVE, TRUE, and FOREVER Loudouners??? Am I the last one?  (until the BOS aids in getting rid of me toooooo….)

This bridge is ugly and not functioning well. Why should the county spend money to preserve it? The money will be more efficiently spent in building alternatives. If everything should be preserved because it has a history, we would be still living in 15th century.

America is not America because we preserved everything like when Columbus first set his foot on this land, but because of the innovation, creation, and constant renewal of technology.  BOS did the right thing.

Need we not forget who was on the BOS at the time. It was the Tulloch,Snow,Clem,Staton(whom I did have to chase off my door step),York,Delgadio, and Waters. And need I not forget Dale Polen-Myers who had her hands in everything. The bridge was unimportant at the time of their petty arguments and buying and selling the County. Personally as a kid growing up, that bridge use to scare the heck out of me. Had a horrible dip going east and no wiggle room to spare. I have more concern for the wood turtles than the bridge. It holds no fond memories.

I understand the readers’ reluctance to bid this bridge farewell…but I’m glad our country hasn’t perpetually rehabbed every bridge that has ever been built in our land. Golly folks, sometimes you gotta move on!!!

Shame on all but Ms. Kurtz and all the previous that let the VDOT money sit with no action. It will always be cheaper to demolish then to refurbish but much like our precious farmland, once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

As a Structural Engineer and lover of historical structures myself, I am very disapointed to read this article.  Sure the bridge is rather unatractive now.  That’s because it has been neglected for so long and is now rusty, dull and in need of refurbishment.  Likely, the only reason it’s not on any historical registry is because no one took the time to get it done.  It certainly qualifies.  There are few bridges of this design and time period remaining.  But, I’d guess the County Supervisors are not the lovers of historical buildings type, but rather new, shiny construction types.  Regarding refurbishment, I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that County officials will make sure you, as their engineer, know what their agenda is and that you’d better make sure your cost estimate supports their goals (in this case demolition).  What I’m saying is, the 1.5 million is way too high, obviously intentionally skewed, from my perspective.  What a shame this is.

Mike, it would not surprise me if they considered Riverside Pkwy the alternate crossing.
However I am not sure the east side trail connects from Riverside to the bridge/golf course area.  I know the west side trail does not, and I believe part of it is considered private property (so the sign says).

Loudoun has a history of tearing landmarks down and putting up a plaque.  There are plaques everywhere and usually in front of a strip mall.

How are we supposed to access the trail?  Where is the other crossing?

pedestrian traffic?  This is Loudoun’s “bridge to nowhere”.  It literally goes nowhere and is only there for historical purposes.  Should’ve been torn down in the 1970s.

rusty the bridge has been for pedestrian traffic only since the 80s when they built the new bridges over goose creek

I can understand the bridge being unfit for vehicle traffic but maybe it could still support pedestrain/hiker/bicycle traffic for many more years.  Was that considered in the inspection?

so let me get this, va gave loudoun the money to fix it and they didnt and the money went elsewhere.  so where is the article on how the board members failed to do there job.  but wait they have been working hard to find 4 different options to have the bridge repaired at the cost of money from the counties budget.  nice. wood turtles are you kidding me delgadio…how many times did board members vote to allow more development in the county….some foot path is not to blame if they go extinct…

Did the turtles speak at the public input?

Were the turtles regularly crossing this bridge?

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