Supervisors name Berkmar Drive bridge for nearby historic community

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A new bridge that carries vehicles over the South Fork Rivanna River now has a name.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to name the bridge, which carries the extension of Berkmar Drive over the river, as the Rio Mills Bridge.

According to a release, the Rio Mills community was established in the 1820s when William H. Meriwether built a mill downstream from the present-day reservoir dam where the former Harrisonburg-Charlottesville Turnpike crossed the river and close to the new bridge.

The county Historic Preservation Committee recommended the name after a project to research and document the history of the area.

"We appreciate the hard work the Historic Preservation Committee did to document the history of the communities that have lived and worked along the South Fork of the Rivanna River over several centuries," said Supervisor Ann Mallek. "Giving a name to this bridge is an important step towards placemaking and in telling a complete history of Albemarle County. We look forward to creating more opportunities to share this history with the community."

Two signs with the bridge name will be installed later this summer.

The project extending Berkmar Drive out to Towncenter Drive was part of a series of projects called the Route 29 Solutions to alleviate traffic on Route 29.

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