VDOT completes more than 120 repairs in Buchanan County following 2022 flood

Route 715 design complete, environmental work underway

BRISTOL — Since a flood devastated the Whitewood area of Buchanan County in July 2022, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has been working diligently to repair damages to infrastructure.

VDOT recently completed $10.8 million in repairs at over 120 locations. Repairs have included slide, road and drainage repairs.

A project to replace the Route 715 bridge over Dismal Creek is the final piece of the puzzle.

Bridge plans have been completed and VDOT is working with multiple federal agencies to gain approval for in-stream work due to Dismal River being home to a threatened species, the Big Sandy crayfish.

“This summer, VDOT conducted a Big Sandy crayfish survey along Dismal Creek to analyze the impact of the flood to the federally listed threatened species as well as evaluate the habitat prior to the in-stream work needed to replace the bridge,” VDOT Environmental Manager George Young said.

“The two-day survey found Big Sandy crayfish in this section of Dismal Creek and that requires Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and VDOT to formally consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.”

Coordination efforts are anticipated to wrap up early winter 2024, with construction scheduled to begin fall 2024.

It is anticipated the new bridge will open to traffic in early 2025.

Motorists are currently using Routes 800, 624 and 460 to detour, a distance of approximately seven miles.

“We realize the strong public desire for construction of the Route 715 bridge to begin,” VDOT Bristol District Engineer Tabitha Crowder, P.E. said. “VDOT staff continue their efforts to gain the needed approvals from regulatory agencies to move the project from preliminary engineering to construction.”   

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Last updated: July 19, 2024

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