Virginia Military Institute and project partners including Rockbridge County, the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington, and Friends of the Chessie Trail cut the ribbon on a new bridge over the South River on December 10th. The ribbon-cutting marks the culmination of a multi-year effort to secure grant funding, design, and construct a bridge to replace an original railroad bridge that was damaged and scrapped after Hurricane Isabel flooded the area in 2003. The missing bridge created a significant gap in the seven mile-long Chessie Trail, which connects Lexington to Buena Vista. For more than ten years, Chessie Trail users had to take a circuitous on-road detour to travel the length of the Trail. In 2016, CSPDC assisted VMI and local partners with a U.S. DOT Eastern Federal Lands Access Program (EFLAP) grant application to construct a new bridge. EFLAP awarded VMI nearly $2 million for the project, which broke ground in December 2020.