VDOT conducts test bridge lift on JRB
Traffic stopped, and up goes the James River Bridge.
VDOT told us about this “test lift” an hour before it started this morning.
They say it was done to make sure it’s ready for them to restart the bridge work late tomorrow night.
The test lift was expected to last about 30 minutes, it actually only took about five to seven minutes.
This weekend, crews are doing something different because of the mistakes they say they made by closing two of the three crossings at once for construction.
The outside lanes on both sides of the JRB will be open for traffic, the inside lanes will not.
That’s for VDOT’s new plan.
“Crews will actually be demolishing a portion of the James River Bridge and creating a cross over point,” says Lauren Hanson.
That will allow all traffic to move on the bridge, even while the grid deck work is being done.
Once that cross over point is made, southbound and northbound traffic will flow together, just on one side.
“The cross over will allow us to shorten the distance of the bi-directional traffic to two miles bi-directional traffic, instead of the five mile length of the bridge,” says Hanson.
While VDOT’s reason for the bridge lift today was to prepare for the upcoming weekend work, it seemed to go off without a hitch. We can only hope their plan to merge traffic together on one side of the bridge will work, too.