Construction on Lesner Bridge replacement project nears completion

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - After years of construction, the Lesner Bridge replacement project in Virginia Beach is nearing completion.

Work began in June of 2014 to replace the aging structure over the Lynnhaven Inlet.

In its place a new bridge structure is being built, which will be capable of handling six lanes of traffic in the future. The replacement bridge structure will be striped for two lanes of traffic in each direction with wide shoulders.

Each of the bridges will also have a 10 foot wide multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Right now we are about 90% complete [with the] whole project. We are currently working in span 9 of 10 of the eastbound bridge. Span 10 is the very last span of the bridge," Project Manager Chris Wojtowicz told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo Monday.

"We expect to set the last segment of that bridge the second week of July and we plan on opening up the eastbound bridge for traffic the last week of August. Once that span opens up, we move the two eastbound lanes of traffic from the current westbound bridge over to the eastbound bridge. That gives us room to do some median work on Shore Drive and gives us room to finish the 10-foot-wide multi-use path," he continued.

The entire bridge project, including lighting and landscaping, should be wrapped up by the end of November.

"It’s exciting. It’s exciting for everybody. The project has been going on for approximately four years. We’re starting to see it all come together in its final form," Wojtowicz stated.

As the bridge approaches both sides of Shore Drive, sidewalks have been installed along with curbs and gutters, and the painting of the retaining walls have been completed.