Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179


April 15, 2013

Buses and large trucks impacted

COLONIAL HEIGHTS—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is posting the Qualla Road (Route 653) bridge over Swift Creek in Chesterfield County to four tons as the result of findings in a recent structural inspection. Earlier this week, bridge inspectors found advanced corrosion and deterioration in the concrete slabs. For driver safety, VDOT has decreased the maximum vehicle weight to reduce the amount of stress on the 53 year old bridge.

“The bridge can withstand normal passenger vehicle traffic,” says Gary Martin, district bridge engineer. “However, larger vehicles like buses and trucks will need to use an alternate route.” The bridge carries approximately 8,000 vehicles per day. VDOT recommends drivers of vehicles over four tons use the following alternate routes:

  • Southbound Qualla Road – Take Newbys Bridge Road (Route 651) to Courthouse Road (Route 604) to Iron Bridge Road (Route 10) to Beach Road (Route 655) to Spring Run Road (Route 654) to Qualla Road
  • Northbound Qualla Road – Take Spring Run Road to Beach Road to Iron Bridge Road to Courthouse Road to Newbys Bridge Road to Qualla Road.

The Qualla Road bridge over Swift Creek was last inspected in 2012. At that time, inspectors did not have visual evidence of the extent of  major deterioration found in this week’s inspection. Engineers confirmed the corrosion and deterioration during this follow up inspection.   

“We are evaluating several structural alternatives, all with varying costs, to determine the best solution for this bridge,” said Martin.“Our goal is to repair the bridge and remove the weight restriction by the end of the year.”

VDOT will be posting signs on the approaches to the bridge indicating the reduced weight limit today. Local police are responsible for enforcing the restriction.

For more information on VDOT’s bridge inspection program and to see a video of a bridge inspection, visit


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: April 15, 2013