Meems Bottom Bridge reopens in Shenandoah County

SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – The historic Meems Bottom Bridge on Route 720 (Wissler Road) in Shenandoah County has reopened to limited vehicular traffic. The covered bridge was closed in November 2021 due to damage from repeated strikes by oversized vehicles.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reopened the bridge this week after repairs and refurbishment.

Several signs on both sides of the structure inform motorists that vehicles are limited to 10 feet in height, 12 feet in width and a weight of 13 tons. It is prohibited for vehicles of this or more size to circulate on the deck.

In 2018, overhead clearance signs and bars were installed with hanging chains to alert drivers of oversized vehicles approaching the bridge. Despite these warning devices, the bridge was struck 11 times between 2019 and 2021. Due to the risk of permanent damage to the historic structure, future vehicle collisions could cause VDOT to close the bridge to all but pedestrians.

The Meems Bottom Bridge, located just west of Route 11 (Old Valley Pike) near Mount Jackson, dates back to 1894 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Register of Landmarks.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information are also available. here.

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