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Mary Street Bridge only for streetcars

By Megan Brantley, mbrantley@wcyb.com
Published On: Apr 09 2013 05:14:22 PM CDT
BRISTOL, Va. -

School and transit buses have been re-routed after the weight limit on the Mary Street Bridge was dropped from 15 to 5 tons.

We spoke to city officials who told us the bridge was built in 1920 and is owned by Norfolk Southern.

For safety purposes, they inspect it annually. They tell us the piers under the bridge were starting to deteriorate, so to help the bridge last longer, they had to minimize the weight. However, it may not last forever.

"Hopefully we can get the bridge back to a higher weight limit. But that's something we'll have to work with them on as the owners of the bridge," said Tabitha Crowder, Director of Public Works.

City Officials tell us it would cost 2.2 million dollars to completely replace the bridge and the cost would most likely be left up to the railroad company.

While buses will not be able to travel on the bridge, officials say streetcars are safe.