SUFFOLK– In an effort to better accommodate motorists and local businesses during the remaining eight James River Bridge (JRB) weekend closures, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has developed a solution to safely maintain bi-directional traffic on the bridge.
Beginning this weekend, traffic on the JRB will be restricted to one lane in each direction so both north- and southbound traffic can cross the bridge. Motorists should anticipate delays in both directions, avoid the area if possible, and use the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel as an alternate route.
The lane restrictions will take place starting 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, until 5 a.m., Monday, Oct. 1. During this time, VDOT will prepare a crossover point to switch traffic onto the opposing bridge. This crossover will be used during upcoming weekend grid deck replacement for both north- and southbound bridge spans.
Grid deck replacement work will resume Friday, Oct. 5, at 9 p.m. to Monday, Oct. 8, at 5 a.m. At least seven additional weekend lane closures will be required to complete the bridge work, weather permitting. The schedule for these additional closures has yet to be determined. The I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel will be open during the weekends when JRB is under construction.
The Route 17 James River Bridge Grid Deck Replacement Project will remove the bridge’s existing steel grid deck, perform various repairs to the deck’s substructure, install a new steel grid deck and balance the counterweights of the lift mechanism. VDOT awarded Curtis Contracting of West Point, Virginia the construction contract for $3.8 million with an estimated completion date of winter 2013.
Motorists are encouraged to call 511 or the Traffic Information Line at 757-361-3016, visit http://www.511virginia.org, or listen to Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) 1680 AM for current traffic and travel information.
For additional project information please visit: http://www.JamesRiverBridgeDeck.org.