The one-lane John G. Lewis bridge, spanning Catoctin Creek on Featherbed Lane, was built in 1889 and is a rare surviving example of a wrought iron truss bridge—one of only five still standing bridges built by the Variety Iron Company. A year ago, the Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee led a successful effort to rename the historic bridge on Featherbed Road to the John G. Lewis Bridge. Lewis, recently deceased, was for more than 50 years a major figure in historic preservation in Loudoun County. Lewis led the effort that placed this bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The Committee wanted to ensure that this bridge was again recognized as a significant historic resource on the Catoctin Creek.
Not long after the renaming was approved by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Committee received notice that the bridge’s most recent evaluation indicated that the bridge needed extensive renovations or replacement, and that the weight limit would be reduced to 3 tons. VDOT is required to hold a meeting of interested persons and organizations (a Section 106 Meeting), at which all interested groups and individuals can participate in the discussion of the future of the bridge.
Many persons and groups are interested in maintaining and extending the life of this unique, historic bridge. Please check back for announcements on this topic.
I’ll be there with my listening ears on!