Between 2019 and 2021 there have been 11 instances of vehicles striking the historic Meems Bottom Bridge in Shenandoah County on Route 720 (Wissler Road). Two of the 11 strikes happened since Monday, October 25, the last one occurring while bridge repairs were underway from the previous strike. Route 720 and the bridge will close on Monday, November 8 at this location for further work.
In 2018 signs and overhead clearance bars were installed with suspended chains to alert drivers of tractor-trailer sized vehicles before attempting to travel across the bridge. Multiple signs on both sides of the structure advise motorists that vehicles are limited to 10 feet in height, 12 feet in width, and a weight of 13 tons. Vehicles of this size or larger are prohibited from traveling on the structure.
The Meems Bottom Bridge, located just off of Route 11 (Old Valley Pike) near Mount Jackson, dates back to 1894 and is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
On April 4, 2017 the bridge was closed following two recent bridge strikes at that time. The bridge remained closed until repairs were completed and the clearance bars could be installed during the summer of 2018.
Motorists are advised to use alternate routes and avoid Route 720 at this location.
All work is weather permitting.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.