My name is Susan Lovelady. I live in White Stone.
I am a single individual who saw that something needed to be done about the antiquated Robert O. Norris Bridge.
I am new to the Northern Neck having relocated with my husband in December of 2015. I am originally from Virginia Beach, & spent my first 45 years there.
I have worked all my life in construction and engineering most recently as VP for Construction, Operations and Development with home builder in Virginia/ North Carolina. I passed the Contractor's License exam in VA and NC and was the designated "responsible person" for our Class "A" contractor's license.
My husband and I lived five years in Alabama, where he was born and reared.
These places I have lived were my point of reference the day I made the first transit across the Norris Bridge.
I did not think “Oh how scary!”
I thought: “What a significant impediment this bridge is as a 'Gateway' to a community and the negative impact to the economy."
I was shocked to see such a functionally obsolete transportation structure in my beloved Commonwealth of Virginia. Transportation is one of the cornerstones that has given [most] of Virginia such a vibrant economy.
It would be one thing to see this in Alabama; but here ?
A very similar bridge was recently replaced in Scottsboro, AL where we lived.
It took seven years, but the old bridge was of similar vintage to the Norris Bridge and had become a similar impediment to the communities on either side of the Tennessee River.
Even in Alabama they replace the worn and functionally obsolete.
[Comer Bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
in the Spring of 2016 the Norris bridge was in the news again because of the degradation of the roadway surface.
I created the website REPLACEROBERTONORRISBRIDGE.ORG to 'do something' about the state of the Norris bridge. The website went live May 16, 2016 and it has seen [5,639] site visits in about six weeks, or about  visits per week on average simply by word of mouth.
[2,662] of these visits were 'unique visits'; people new to the site.
You might believe that the efforts with the Norris bridge replacement have been passive. Initially this site was simply a public resource for “writing to your representative.” In a little more than three weeks people wrote over  letters directly from the website to Delegates Ransone, Hodges and Senator McDougle engaging them to steward the required funding application as required by House Bill 2.
Letters were also written to:
Jason De La Cruz [Senator McDougle's executive assistant] and I had several lengthy phone conversations. Ultimately Jason contacted Mr. Davis of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission to discuss the submittal of the HB2/Smart Scale Funding application.
The deadline for submittal of the funding application is September 30, 2016. If the application is not submitted in September this year the matter will have to wait another year to apply for funding to replace the Norris bridge. Due to the timeline a resolution on the funding application matter was urgent.
In early June Mr. Davis confirmed that Mr. Beauchamp would be sponsoring a Resolution to submit the Funding application through the Lancaster Board of Supervisors.
The Resolution to submit an HB2/ Smart Scale Funding application was carried on June 30, 2016.
This website has now transitioned in purpose into an informational mission.
It is significant to the Replacement effort that the public is aware of the mechanics of the Funding process and is engaged in the progress. This is particularly so with respect to the Commonwealth Transportation Board & VDOTs Prioritization process. In April and May 2017 public participation is going to be significant to the Final project selections added to the Six Year Improvement Plan/Budget for 2018-2024.
I offer the information found on the pages of this website in an effort that our neighbors on the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula are engaged in the process and the Robert O. Norris Bridge is funded to begin the necessary studies, planning & design of the New Gateway into the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.
As with the commissioning of the Norris Bridge in 1957 the New Gateway will bring renewed economic developement in support of a better quality of life and brighter future for all our neighbors who live and raise families here.
Now is the time to be involved and stay involved in the process; if we are successful it is because of substantial and significant grass roots local effort.
I welcome all productive suggestions and would love to hear from you.