VDOT to conduct geological tests at Natural Bridge

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and VDOT are partnering as DCR’s master plan efforts for Natural Bridge State Park move forward. Natural Bridge came under DCR management in 2016.

vdot road workNatural Bridge is a geological formation and it is not inspected by VDOT. The Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to preserving the formation for current and future generations and both DCR and VDOT are working together towards this goal.

In July VDOT performed Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) tests of the Route 11 road surface down to the surface of the rock formation. This test shows where the original road bed was prior to modern construction in the 1930s and how much stone and asphalt sit on top of it.

In August VDOT will perform Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) tests. The LIDAR tests will show a three dimensional mapping of the geological formation’s surface. During late summer and into the fall more geological testing will be done in conjunction with the Virginia Transportation Research Council and Radford University.

An advisory committee of prominent geologists in the United States and Canada will review the testing results and issue a report.

VDOT and DCR will use the data and reports as a basis for working together establishing a long-range plan for the preservation of Natural Bridge. Route 11 will continue to be located on the Natural Bridge structure during the master planning process. To date, no data has emerged indicating the road is unsafe or the geological formation is affected by the road and its traffic.

All work is weather permitting.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

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