BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — The Virginia Department of Transportation says it has completed more than 120 repairs to infrastructure damaged by the July 2022 floods in Buchanan County.
According to VDOT, $10.8 million worth of repairs have been completed so far, including slide, road, and drainage repairs.
But the department said one project remains: replacing the Route 715 bridge over Dismal Creek.
Bridge plans are completed and VDOT is working with federal agencies to gain approval to conduct in-stream work. That’s because the river is home to the Big Sandy crayfish, a threatened species.
“This summer, VDOT conducted a Big Sandy crayfish survey along Dismal Creek to analyze the impact of the flood to the federally-listed threatened species as well as evaluate the habitat prior to the in-stream work needed to replace the bridge,” VDOT Environmental Manager George Young said. “The two-day survey found Big Sandy crayfish in this section of Dismal Creek and that requires Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and VDOT to formally consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.”
VDOT hopes to begin construction in the fall of 2024 and open the bridge to traffic in early 2025.
Drivers are currently having to use a seven-mile detour.