Robert O. Norris Bridge
Coordinates: The Robert O. Norris bridge is a truss bridge that spans the Rappahannock River between Lancaster County and Middlesex County in Virginia. It serves as the crossing for Virginia State Route 3 over the river. It was opened on August 30, 1957, and replaced the old ferry service. It is also known by locals as the White Stone Bridge or Rappahannock River Bridge. The water is over 100 feet deep near the center of the bridge. The bridge is maintained by VDOT, but is paid for by Lancaster County, Virginia.
Originally conceived in the 1930s, planning work on the bridge began in earnest in 1950, and construction began in 1954. Four workers were killed in construction accidents on the bridge. The Norris Bridge is 9,985 feet long, and provides a Mean High Water clearance of 110 feet under the center span. In its 50+ years there are two known fatal accidents involving cars flipping off the bridge into the water below.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has discussed replacing the narrow, 2-lane bridge with a wider, 4-lane replacement sometime between 2015-2020. When first opened, the bridge was crossed by just over 1,000 vehicles per day, on average. The tolls were removed from the bridge in 1976, and by 1978 the average daily traffic had risen to over 2,500 vehicles per day. Today, more than 11,000 vehicles cross the two lane bridge each day.
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