Wilson Creek Bridge

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Wilson Creek Bridge
Wilson creek bridge.jpeg
Wilson Creek Bridge, looking northeast
Coordinates 37°10′27″N 80°22′29″W / 37.17417°N 80.37472°W / 37.17417; -80.37472
Carries Virginia Smart Road
Crosses Wilson Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Roanoke River; County Route 723 (Ellett Road), part of U.S. Bicycle Route 76 and the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail
Locale Montgomery County, Virginia
Maintained by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute [1]
Design Cast-in-place cantilever box girder
Total length 1,985 feet (605 m)
Width 40 feet (12 m), 2 lanes
Longest span 472 feet (144 m)
Clearance below 175 feet (53 m)
Opened May 30, 2001
Wilson Creek Bridge is located in Virginia
Wilson Creek Bridge

The Wilson Creek Bridge (also known as the Smart Road Bridge) is the second tallest bridge in Virginia at 175 feet (53 m) tall, the tallest being the US-460 Corridor Q bridge over Grassy Creek and Virginia State Route 610 between Pike County and Buchanan County at 225 feet (69 m) tall.[1]

The Wilson Creek Bridge is located in Montgomery County and was built as part of the Virginia Smart Road project. It is a cast-in-place cantilever box girder bridge and extends for 1,985 feet (605 m) with three spans of 472 feet (144 m) and two spans of 283 feet (86 m).


Construction began in August 1998. The bridge was designed by Florida-based Figg Engineering Group and built by PCL Civil Constructors Inc., a subsidiary of PCL Constructors Inc. at a cost of US$17.4 million. The bridge design is the same genre as the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. The bridge is composed of four double-tapered piers with stone inlay, two conventional abutments, and 100 cast-in-place segments. After review of the bridge design by the construction firm, the segments were changed from 4.5 m to 5 m segments, deleting 35 segments from the critical path of construction. The bridge was completed on May 30, 2001.

The cast-in-place structure consists of 9,647 cubic yards (7,376 m3) of concrete, 1,565,321 pounds (710,018 kg) of reinforcing steel, and 780,900 pounds (354,210 kg) of steel cables.


In 2002, the bridge received an honorable mention in the Federal Highway Administration's Excellence in Highway Design Awards, Category 3A: Major Highway Structures Over $10 Million. The bridge also received an award that year from the Concrete Reinforced Steel Institute, the only 2002 award-winner east of the Mississippi River.

Unique Features[edit]

The cast-in-place cantilever box girder bridge design is the only one of its kind in Virginia.

The bridge is hollow. Beneath the riding surface, the box girders are open with a width of 18 feet (5 m) and a height which varies from 12 feet (4 m) to 35 feet (11 m). Power and communication lines are carried in the hollow concrete box and run the length of the bridge. Manholes in the bridge deck allow researchers to enter the box to monitor testing equipment.

The support structure of the bridge is inlaid with Hokie Stone to blend in with the environment and meld with the architectural stylings of Virginia Tech.

Bridge Pictures[edit]


  1. ^ "Corridor Q: Route 460 Connector - Phase I". VDOT. February 24, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-21. 

See also[edit]