FORT A.P. HILL, Virginia -- The project to replace the failing culvert at Raymond's Fork on A.P. Hill Drive is underway and will result in a much-safer road and enhance the flow of water from the adjacent wetland.

The approximately $400,000 project will replace the nearly 50-year old 48-inch single concrete culvert with three 48-inch concrete culverts. Workers will also install two head walls which will provide for a more stable system.

The project manager for the culvert replacement, Gef Fisher, Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, said Faulconer Construction Company of Charlottesville, Virginia is doing the work.

Faulconer will lay the new culverts to match the natural streambed, Fisher said. This will provide a more-natural water flow from the adjacent wetland, will facilitate the passage of fish and other animals and it will be less prone to flooding.

"It will be like the culvert wasn't there."

Fisher said that the Raymond's Fork project is part of a DPW program that evaluated culverts throughout the installation.

"There are about 600 culverts on post, about 200 of them part of streams and wetlands, so there's a lot of sensitivity," he said.

During their inspection of the Raymond's Fork culvert earlier this year DPW determined the concrete pipe joints were pulling apart and collapsing. This led to a deflection or settling of the road above which posed a potential safety hazard to vehicles.

Fisher said that construction is on schedule, despite a couple of days of rain recently. The next several days should be dry and that will help construction move along toward a completion date of Oct. 31.

A.P. Hill Drive, closed to through traffic on Oct. 18 because of the construction, it should reopen on Oct. 31. Until then most traffic entering and leaving the post has been rerouted to the south gate. The North Gate is open for access to the DEERS and the Pass and Identification Card Office as well as for those who need to go to the headquarters area.