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Chessie Nature Trail Bridge Now Open

Four people pose on Chessie Trail bridge smiling, Maj. Gen. Wins holding giant red scissors

Representatives from several municipalities that made the Chessie Nature Trail bridge over South River possible join to cut the ribbon to officially open the bridge. Pictured are Mayor Frank Friedman, representing the City of Lexington; Dan Lyons, representing Rockbridge County; Kristina Ramsey, representing the City of Buena Vista; and Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, VMI superintendent.—VMI Photo by Kelly Nye.

On the morning of Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, members from the local community joined in excitement to finally walk the Chessie Nature Trail over South River via a bridge connecting the trail between Lexington and Buena Vista. The new 210-foot structure, which can withstand winds up to 140 mph, replaces the original railroad bridge that was taken out by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The $2.1 million project was possible because of the generous support of local partners, including the City of Buena Vista, City of Lexington, Rockbridge County, VMI, and the Federal Highway Administration’s Eastern Federal Lands Access Program. A new parking area, landscaping, and benches were also unveiled to the community.