RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179
Dawn.Eischen@vdot.virginia.gov

RICH-1022

Sept. 15, 2010



COMMONWEALTH TRANSPORTATION BOARD APPROVES $35 MILLION CONTRACT FOR HUGUENOT BRIDGE REPLACEMENT

COLONIAL HEIGHTS—The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) awarded a contract today valued at approximately $35 million to replace the aging Huguenot Memorial Bridge with a new structure in roughly the same location. The 61-year-old bridge is considered a major transportation artery over the James River connecting Richmond city limits to the south and Henrico County to the north via Huguenot Road (Route 147).  

“Replacement of the Huguenot Bridge is a long-awaited, regional priority,” said Richmond District Administrator Tom Hawthorne. “The existing bridge has become increasingly expensive and difficult to maintain, causing frequent delays and disruptions to drivers.”

The new structure will have one 12 foot lane and one 10 foot shoulder in each direction. The 10 foot shoulder will function as both an emergency lane and a lane to allow bicyclists to safely use the bridge. In addition, there will be a five foot wide sidewalk on each side for pedestrians. The existing bridge is one lane in each direction with a pedestrian sidewalk and no shoulders. Recent traffic counts indicate the bridge carries an average of 28,000 vehicles per day.

Tidewater Skanska Inc. of Norfolk was awarded the contract to replace the bridge. Work will begin in the fall with completion expected by October 2013. Skanska recently built the new Judith Stewart Dresser Memorial Bridge over the Chickahominy River, which was opened to traffic in January 2009—approximately seven months ahead of schedule.

The new bridge will be built in two phases. The first phase will involve constructing the western half of the new bridge while traffic is maintained on the existing bridge. During phase two, traffic will be shifted onto the new section of the bridge that was built during phase one. At that time, the existing Huguenot Bridge will be torn down and the second half of the new bridge will be constructed. VDOT will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction during construction with occasional lane closures during off peak hours.

“While there will be some short-term inconveniences during construction, the resulting new bridge will serve the region well for many decades to come” said Hawthorne.

In June, VDOT reduced the maximum vehicle weight on the Huguenot Bridge to three tons following the discovery of a deteriorated pier cap during a routine inspection. Emergency repairs were completed within five weeks. The vehicle weight limit for the bridge is currently posted at 24 tons for single unit vehicles and 33 tons for semi trailers.

Drivers and residents are encouraged to sign up for project updates and traffic advisories on the project web page. For more information on CTB meetings and other CTB actions, visit http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/meetings.asp.

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