Skirting the City of Williamsburg in one big arc, Route 199 cuts through some scenic parts of James City County.
One section — two twin bridges extending several hundred feet with low concrete railings — span over an idyllic, calm part of the city’s historic College Creek.
The eastbound and westbound bridges have a collective name: The Jack L. Massie Memorial Bridge.
So, who is Jack L. Massie?
A James City County resident, Massie died in 2005. During his life, he established a highway construction firm; started a dairy farm in Lightfoot called VaJack Farm; and helped build various roads on Route 199 and in the Prime Outlets Monticello Marketplace and more.
Massie’s company, Jack L. Massie Contractor, Inc, also helped build the Route 199 bridge over College Creek — the same one named after Massie, Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Brittany McBride Nichols said.
“Mr. Massie lived the American Dream,” an online obituary for Massie reads.
The section of Route 199 was named after Massie in 2006 through action by the General Assembly.
The bill to name the span was introduced by Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr, R- James City County, in January 2006.
The bill was approved by the governor April 4, 2006. The name went into effect July 1, 2006, costing VDOT $400 to put memorial signs in place in both directions. James City County was responsible for reimbursing VDOT for the cost of the signs.
Norment was not immediately available for comment on why he introduced the bill.
“[H]ard-working and committed to quality and excellence in road construction, Jack Massie never really retired and was still going to work early every day, always on the job, even after his sons took over the business,” a Senate joint resolution reads.
Massie and his company were responsible for $25 million of the $80 million in projects along the 8.5-mile stretch of Route 199.
The resolution states Massie was the sole recipient of the 2000 Virginia Department of Transportation Quality Award, which recognized the quality of construction on Route 199 and a Monticello Avenue extension project.
“The Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) and VDOT Construction Quality Award recognized outstanding design and construction management work on transportation projects in Virginia,” McBride Nichols said.
A dairy farm and road projects are not the only activities Massie was involved in: He was also a founding board member of Old Colony Bank, Jamestown Academy and Williamsburg Landing, the resolution says.
He also served as director of the Virginia Road and Transportation Builders Association.
“Jack Massie will long be remembered as an honest and decent man who was dedicated and loving to his family and immensely dedicated to his community and the Commonwealth; he will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by his family, his numerous friends and admirers, and the residents of James City County,” the resolution finishes.