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Bridge repair, playground addition near completion at SR Battlefield Park

SoVaNow.com / October 04, 2021


Repair work to the pedestrian bridge at Staunton River Battlefield State Park is nearing completion and park staff is building a new playground at the Clover Visitor Center, too.

The scenic bridge over the Staunton River, linking the Halifax and Charlotte portions of the park, has been closed since mid-May for repairs. Access to most of the 1.2 mile battlefield trail has been blocked from the Clover side, although park guests have been able to walk most of the trail from the Randolph Visitor Center in Charlotte County.

Delayed deliveries of lumber stalled repair work to the foot bridge this summer, but Virginia State Parks is on target to wrap up the work within the six-month timeframe it announced when the span closed May 17.

“The work at the bridge could be completed by the end of the month, but bad weather or other delays might push that back,” said SRBSP Park Manager David Gunnells.

In the final phase of repairs, construction workers are laying new horizontal planking across the width of the bridge for smooth passage on foot. The wire fencing that encloses both sides of the bridge is being reinstalled. To provide ease of access for persons with mobility issues, a concrete parking area near the bridge entrance is being added.

Completion of the bridge work is expected in time to reopen the span in time for the height of the fall foliage season. The park has two self-guided walking trails — the longest being the 1.2 mile walk over the bridge and past the site of Halifax County’s lone Civil War engagement, the Battle of Staunton River Bridge. The other trail is 0.75 miles, originating at the Clover center and passing two wildlife observation towers that overlook wetlands.

The bridge is a centerpiece of the 300-acre battlefield park.

The playground will be a new feature and also is expected to open in about a month. The playground, located next to the Clover Visitor Center, will be completed in stages with new equipment added next year and possibly in 2023.

“The first stage of the playground should be ready for use by the end of the month,” said Gunnells.

The playground was funded through the park’s budget. The bridge repairs were made possible through VPBA (Virginia Public Building Authority) bond proceeds.

Staunton River Battlefield State Park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk and located at 1035 Fort Hill Trail, Randolph. The Clover Visitor Center is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Randolph visitor center is currently under renovation. For more information call 434-454-4312 or visit the website at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river-battlefield.



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