Twenty-eight box culverts, each weighing nine tons, were placed in Powell’s Creek in September, replacing the former narrow bridge on Jarmans Gap Road. Replacing the bridge marks a milestone in the road improvement project, according to VDOT project inspector Susan Hepner. While Powells Creek was diverted down a fabric sluice, crane operators needed two days to position the 8’-by-8’-by-8’ steel reinforced culverts on a packed gravel bed. Each box was sealed to the next one with a rubber gasket and the boxes were tightened in position with chains and come-alongs. The rows of culverts must be separated by three inches, and Daniel Griffin, pipe foreman for contractor General Excavation Inc., set them with a shaft between as true as any in a pharaoh’s tomb.
“The road closure was a preparation for this,” said Hepner, “and this gets us to where we can start actual road construction. We’ll be driving over [the new bridge] in a month.”