Wilson Creek Bridge
The Wilson Creek Bridge (also known as the Smart Road Bridge) is the tallest bridge in Virginia at 175 feet (53 m) tall, the second tallest being the Varina-Enon Bridge over the James River between Henrico County and Chesterfield County at 150 feet (46 m) tall. The Wilson Creek Bridge is located in Montgomery County and was built as part of the Virginia Smart Road project. It is a cast-in-place cantilever box girder bridge and extends for 1,985 feet (605 m) with three spans of 472 feet (144 m) and two spans of 283 feet (86 m).

Construction began in August, 1998. The bridge was designed by Florida-based Figg Engineering Group and built by PCL Civil Constructors Inc., a subsidiary of PCL Constructors Inc. at a cost of US$17.4 million. The bridge design is the same genre as the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. The bridge is composed of four double-tapered piers with stone inlay, two conventional abutments, and 100 cast-in-place segments. After review of the bridge design by the construction firm, the segments were changed from 4.5 m to 5 m segments, deleting 35 segments from the critical path of construction. The bridge was completed on May 30, 2001. The cast-in-place structure consists of 9,647 cubic yards (7,376 m 3) of concrete, 1,565,321 pounds (710,018 kg) of reinforcing steel, and 780,900 pounds (354,210 kg) of steel cables.

In 2002, the bridge received an honorable mention in the Federal Highway Administration's Excellence in Highway Design Awards, Category 3A: Major Highway Structures Over $10 Million. The bridge also received an award that year from the Concrete Reinforced Steel Institute, the only 2002 award-winner east of the Mississippi River.

Unique Features
The cast-in-place cantilever box girder bridge design is the only one of its kind in Virginia. The bridge is hollow. Beneath the riding surface, the box girders are open with a width of 18 feet (5 m) and a height which varies from 12 feet (4 m) to 35 feet (11 m). Power and communication lines are carried in the hollow concrete box and run the length of the bridge. Manholes in the bridge deck allow researchers to enter the box to monitor testing equipment. The support structure of the bridge is inlaid with Hokie Stone to blend in with the environment and meld with the architectural stylings of Virginia Tech.

Bridge Pictures
  • Early construction
  • During construction
  • During construction
  • Below main spans during construction
  • Construction nearing completion
  • Looking south
  • Looking southeast across Ellett Valley and Wilson Creek
  • Looking northeast
  • Looking northwest