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Downing Bridge


The Old Downing Bridge

River Country News


View this photo at rivercountrynews.com

BH Photo #457464

Street View 



Though ferries served the area since at least 1656, it wasn’t until 1927 that a bridge connected the town of Tappahannock to Richmond County across the Rappahannock River. Seen in the upper photo, the original Downing Bridge provided residents of the Northern Neck with a vital link to the rest of Virginia. While popular with motorists, the structure was an inconvenience to boaters, who had to navigate the narrow passage of the draw bridge. The taller, modern Downing Bridge - seen in the top photo shortly before it opened in 1963 -continues to be a popular crossing, carrying more than 14,000 vehicles per day over the Rappahannock River.


Steel stringer bridge over Rappahannock River on E. Queen Street/Richmond Road
Richmond County, Virginia, and Essex County, Virginia
Open to traffic
Built 1963
Steel stringer
Length of largest span: 122.1 ft.
Total length: 5,604.3 ft. (1.1 mi.)
Deck width: 27.9 ft.
Also called
Rappahannock River Bridge
E. Queen Street Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.93504, -76.84963   (decimal degrees)
37°56'06" N, 76°50'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/337457/4200221 (zone/easting/northing)
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
VA 14782 (Virginia bridge number)
BH 85982 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 50 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 10, 2020: Updated by Nick Boppel: Fix map marker
  • October 8, 2019: New photo from Timothy and Joann Phillips
  • July 21, 2019: Added by Timothy and Joann Phillips


  • Timothy and Joann Phillips
  • Nick Boppel - nickboppel01 [at] gmail [dot] com