8 votes

Aden Road Bridge


Photo taken by Bob Kirkpatrick


BH Photo #112849


Street View 


Virginia Department of Transporation Bridge No. 6051 is a five-panel Pratt through truss bridge 73'-11 1/2" in length. Manufactured by the Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1882, the structure is a representative surviving example of a popular truss type built to specifications by railroad companies and bridge companies during the 1875-1925 period in Virginia. Relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture, ship, and erect on site, Pratt metal truss bridges found widespread application on U.S. railroads and highways throughout the last quarter of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century.


The one-lane wrought-iron truss bridge will be removed from its perch over the Norfolk-Southern railway on Tuesday.

Remediation work to remove lead paint will be performed on the bridge, and then it will be trucked to Florida for a complete restoration. The bridge is 133 years old.

Its a community cornerstone, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis.

Once the bridge is restored, it will be brought back to Nokesville and put back into service over the railroad tracks. A new concrete bridge will be built next to the old Aden Road bridge.

-- Historic American Engineering Record


Through truss bridge over Southern Railroad on Aden Road in Nokesville
Prince William County, Virginia
Temporarily removed for rehabilitation
Future prospects
To be removed to Florida for rehabilitation and returned 2016
Built 1882; renovation scheduled 2016
- Keystone Bridge Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pin-connected, 5-panel Pratt through truss
Span length: 78.1 ft.
Total length: 78.1 ft.
Deck width: 12.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 21.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 15, 1978
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.70716, -77.56426   (decimal degrees)
38°42'26" N, 77°33'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/277027/4287402 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
VA 14340 (Virginia bridge number)
NRHP 78003040 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 33805 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2015)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 3.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • January 14, 2016: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Bridge to re removed for renovation and restoration, then returned to abutments
  • February 7, 2015: Photos imported by Dave King
  • January 5, 2015: HAER photos posted by Dave King
  • February 26, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP info
  • June 20, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Bridge to be rehabilitated
  • January 2, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • April 19, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • March 15, 2008: New photos from Bob Kirkpatrick
  • March 6, 2008: New photo from Bob Kirkpatrick



Aden Road Bridge
Posted July 30, 2018, by Zachary S

Alright so, after being restored and repaired in Florida, the bridge is apparently going to be reinstalled near its original location, so far presumed to be for vehicle traffic once more. I don't know how much historical integrity had to be compromised for its repair since it was claimed there was major damage that had to be repaired, but it has been repaired and is scheduled to be reinstalled sometime next year probably. A far better fate than many old rail-crossing road bridges.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted July 28, 2017, by Zachary S

Well, never mind the rehab and reopening... as of late last year VDOT claimed that the restoration work needed was far more extensive than thought, so it appears by photos that they thew up a new concrete eyesore in its place. The historic bridge is supposed to have been preserved elsewhere but I can't find an article that confirms if this actually happened.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted July 11, 2016, by Zachary S

Passed underneath on an Amtrak journey just now. Doesn't appear to have been put back in place yet, but so glad to hear of its positive fate.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted March 24, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


I was mostly joking. They are significantly reworking the crossing and approaches while preserving the historic bridge. The problem is when using this as a reference, the cost may scare others away. I think a better number to use is the incremental cost increase of preserving the bridge.


Art S.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted March 23, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Art: A few clarifications. First, this is a rehabilitation, not a restoration. Second, the project includes construction of a NEW one-lane bridge (including superstructure and abutments) next to the historic bridge. Third, this will require substantial work to the approaching roadway to accommodate the one-way couplet configuration. Fourth, this project includes the replacement of the existing abutments for the truss with a revolutionary hammerhead abutment design that increases the available space for railroad tracks under the bridge, while not requiring the truss itself to be lengthened. Fifth, this is a DOT bid project, and so like any DOT project you can expect higher per-foot costs, plus costs for DOT oddities... one VDOT project I evaluated included an on-site office trailer to be provided... cost of site trailer: $70,000.

So as you can see, taking all of this into account, you can see how you get up to this project cost, and why the project is a lot more expensive than say, just as a random example, the cost for a historic bridge restoration specialist to restore a 137 foot truss bridge in a non-DOT setting.

I maintain that this is one of the best examples of Section 106 I have ever been involved with, and the solution for this bridge is one of the most creative I have encountered. If all projects involving historic trusses were approached with the open mind and creativity of this project, we would have a lot more success stories in this country.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted March 19, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] kknite [dot] com)

$5.77M to restore a 5 panel pin connected truss! I predict that they will be gold plating it to prevent corrosion.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted March 17, 2015, by Anonymous

We visited this bridge last year. Glad they are being creative.


Aden Road Bridge
Posted February 5, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Aden Road Bridge
Posted April 3, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Yes, this bridge is not at risk. I was a consulting party for Section 106 Review. Its the first time EVER where I have been 100% happy with the way a Section 106 Review was conducted. They entered the process with an open mind and came up with a creative solution that avoided adverse effect. The bridge will sit on new, unique hammerhead abutments that will increase space between abutments for the railroad below while avoiding the need to lengthen the truss!

Aden Road Bridge
Posted April 3, 2014, by Matt Lohry

I was very pleasantly surprised ( especially since it's VDOT) to read in this same article that the truss bridge will be strengthened (not replaced) as part of a project to turn it into a one way couplet, with a new bridge being built alongside of it to handle traffic in the opposite direction.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted April 2, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Aden Road Bridge
Posted January 3, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

It is common (and often required by federal law) to offer a historic bridge slated for demolition to a third party. This however is not a preservation committment, and if nobody steps forward to take the bridge (which is the most common scenario) than the bridge would face demolition. I have however learned that Section 106 has not yet been conducted for this bridge, so VDOT is premature in describing this as a replacement project, before they have considered alternatives to avoid adverse effect.

Aden Road Bridge
Posted January 2, 2012, by Chris P.

It looks like they are considering relocating the historic bridge if a party comes forward to take it.