Fred15 Transportation Corner for February 2023

A picture of some green fitness equipment in front of a hillside. The lawn is brown and the trees are bare since it is winter.
The new fitness equipment along the Heritage Trail by Old Mill Park.

Rt.1/Falmouth Bridge Replacement

If you’ve ever walked the Heritage trail or swam the river underneath the Rt.1/Falmouth Bridge, it’ll be no surprise to you that the bridge needs structural repairs. VDOT concurs and a project is funded to structurally improve the bridge. Bridge improvements are not cheap, and the project will cost millions to address the important structural improvements. Concerningly, the improvement project does not include plans to improve the poor-quality sidewalks that provide an important connection between Falmouth and Fredericksburg.

Reinvestment in our transportation infrastructure is critical and hasn’t been prioritized enough across the Country. However, this reinvestment must consider all bridge users and is a generational opportunity to improve a deficient pedestrian and bicycle connection. Most who have crossed the bridge by foot or pedal haven’t done it twice unless they didn’t have a choice. Unfortunately for many, crossing the bridge by foot or bike is their only option, and being shoulder to shoulder with vehicles and getting sprayed by gravel isn’t the type of condition that should continue with such a large project on the horizon.

Fitness Equipment Along Heritage Trail

New fitness equipment has been installed adjacent to the Heritage Trail along Caroline Street, near the old Germania Flour Mill. The fitness equipment contains pull up bars, a sit-up station, and other open-ended workout equipment. This project is the result of a partnership between MANARC – a 501(c)3 non-profit that supports veteran organizations – and the City of Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Department. Go check out this new addition and get a workout in on our trail system!

East West Mobility Study

FAMPO (Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) is conducting an East West Mobility Study to understand problem areas and provide possible solutions for reducing traffic congestion and increasing access to a variety of transportation modes for future east-west travel. The draft report has been published and includes options to improve future transportation.

The study also shows two notable potential future bicycle and pedestrian connections: a shared use path from the termini of the Fall Hill and Cowan Boulevard shared use paths through Central Park to the Spotsylvania Town Centre; and a connection from Chatham Bridge to provide access to residential and commercial areas north of the bridge. Additional bicycle/pedestrian and vehicular connections outside of City limits in both Stafford and Spotsylvania are introduced in the report.

This draft report provides a roadmap for these improvements to be considered by the City and local counties for adoption into its plans and to make them eligible for future design and funding. The study website is located here, and will be discussed at FAMPO meetings this year. Questions should be submitted to FAMPO.

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