Much of the progress at the construction site for the Halifax County Courthouse had been below ground for months, but in the past month, visible evidence of progress has been evident above ground with steel erection and steel decking in progress.

That was part of the report county building official Otis Vaughan gave supervisors during an update on the courthouse construction project at Monday’s meeting.

Structural steel erection and construction of the front retaining wall have been completed, and floor decking will be completed and floor slabs prepared for concrete placement over the next month, according to Vaughan.

In the past 30 days, construction crews have completed wall forming and pouring at the first floor connector, completed the footings at the portico, completed the shoring design at the 1834 building foyer third floor walkway and removed the existing 1834 roof, according to Vaughan.

In the next 30 days, construction crews are scheduled to start and complete the cast concrete site retaining wall along Main Street and complete the cast concrete walls at the portico.

Workers also are scheduled to demolish the north existing retaining wall at the attorney’s office and start and complete demolition of the existing retaining wall at the south attorney’s office, according to Vaughan’s report.

The removal of the existing 1834 roof is complete, and installation of the new 1834 metal roofing, gutters and downspouts will continue in the next 30 days, according to Vaughan.

Also in the next 30 days, the formed concrete walls between the two existing attorney’s offices will be installed, and the underground rough-in plumbing at the first floor will start.

“Everything is moving along,” Vaughan told supervisors on Monday.

VDOT reports upgraded bridge tonnage limits

VDOT representative Jay Craddock informed supervisors on Monday that changes in evaluating bridge structures will result in six bridges in Halifax County, five currently with no posted tonnage limits, to be posted with tonnage limits.

The bridge across North Fork Creek on North Fork Church Road will now carry a 19-ton limit; the bridge across Double Branch Creek on Hundley Road will now carry a 27-ton limit; and the bridge across Terrible Creek on Dudley Road will be posted for a 20-ton limit.

The bridge across Bye Creek on Leda Road will be posted for a 27-ton limit; the bridge across Birch Creek on Lewis Ferrell Road will now carry a 25-ton limit; and the bridge across Ashcake Creek on Ashcake Creek Road, formerly posted for 26 tons, will now be posted for 22 tons.

Despite the new limits, Halifax County still had fewer bridges with tonnage limit changes than any other county in the Lynchburg District, according to Craddock.

One bridge, located on Route 57, remains one-way due to tonnage restrictions, with all bridges mentioned due for replacement in the future, Craddock explained.

Supes OK Tobacco Heritage Trail construction award

Supervisors unanimously approved a construction contract in the amount of $482,726.64 for White’s Construction for an extension to the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

The Tobacco Heritage Trail extension is a “Rails to Trails project approved previously by the board of supervisors.

Rails to Trails projects convert former railroad beds into mixed-use trails that can be used for exercise or outdoor recreational activities.

The project was recently bid out for construction with White’s Construction emerging as the low bidder, according to Simpson.

A 5% contingency is $24,136.33, and construction, engineering and inspection is estimated at $81,000.

Three bids were received for the project, according to a letter from Simpson to Bhavesh Shah of the Virginia Department of

Transportation, including White Construction’s bid of $482,726.64.

Burleigh Construction Co. Inc. submitted a bid of $628,577, and Virginia Carolina Paving Co. submitted a bid of $576,956.65.

White Construction’s bid is below the budgeted estimate, Simpson told supervisors.

Claiborne, Davis receive VACO awards

Simpson awarded Virginia Association of Counties longevity awards to ED-8 supervisor W. Bryant Claiborne and ED-1 supervisor J. T. Davis on Monday.

Davis has served for more than 10 years, and Claiborne has served for over 13 years, according to Simpson.

Supes urge ‘yes’ vote for 1% sales tax referendum

On Monday night, supervisors repeated their support of the 1% sales tax increase referendum on the ballot in Tuesday’s elections.

ED-6 supervisor Stanley Brandon, ED-3 supervisor Hubert Pannell, Davis, ED-4 supervisor Dennis Witt and Claiborne all made statements in support of a “yes” vote for the 1% sales tax increase.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at