Recently Completed: Alleghany County -- Route 638 (Natural Well Road)

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The purpose of this project is to replace the existing bridge on Route 638 (Natural Well Road) over the Jackson River.

The existing single-lane bridge was built in Covington in 1913 and moved to this location in 1955. The existing bridge is about 245 feet long, 14 feet wide and has a posted weight limit of 14 tons. The condition of the structure qualifies it as a candidate for federal funds for replacement.   

The new bridge will have two travel lanes with 3-foot shoulders to better accommodate bicycle traffic. The overall width of the structure will be roughly 26 feet.

The new bridge will be built predominately along the same right of way as the existing one. Hoover Creek meets the Jackson River very close to the upstream side of the bridge, so all widening will take place on the downstream side.  

Route 638 is about one mile long, connecting Route 666 (East Morris Hill Road) and Route 687 (Jackson River Road). In 2010 the average daily traffic count was 212 vehicles per day. Predictions for the year 2036 are 313 vehicles per day.

The total cost of this project is estimated at $3,127,520, which includes $435,381 for preliminary engineering, $71,927 for right of way acquisition and $2,620,212 for construction.


This project replaces an aging bridge on a state route that serves county residents. If not replaced the existing bridge will continue to deteriorate and would eventually have to be closed to vehicular traffic. A prolonged closure of the existing structure would inconvenience local residents with a 8-mile-long detour route.


Contact Info:

S. Mitchell Ball, P.E.

Project Photos

UPC: 88564

State ID: 0638-003-615,P101, R201, C501, B633

Federal ID: BROS-638-8(003), BROS-638-8(004), BROS-638-8 (005), BROS-638-8(005)

Lat/Long: 37.917500, -79.968056

Locality: Alleghany

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New Route 638 bridge - May 2019

Page last modified: June 17, 2019