Gilmerton Bridge Replacement Project
Project at a Glance
Est Completion Date
Completed October 2015
EST $134 million
Robert A. 'Bud' Morgan, PE, Construction Manager
About the Project
The Gilmerton Bridge Replacement Project on Military Highway in the city of Chesapeake consisted of the construction of a new vertical lift span over the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. The new bridge replaces the double-leaf bascule bridge that was constructed in 1938.
The new bridge, 1,908 feet long with a vertical clearance of 35 feet in the closed position and up to 135 feet in the open position, has been constructed in three phases on the existing Military Highway alignment. The new bridge width of 85 feet will accommodate future widening of Military Highway from four lanes to six.
November 1, 2009 – Start construction
January 2013 – Float-in of lift span and attachment of span to bridge towers
October 2015- Completion date
To receive information about this project, please send an e-mail to GilmertonInfo@VDOT.Virginia.gov with the subject line: SUBSCRIBE.
Gilmerton Bridge Float-In Slideshow and Overview
Gilmerton Bridge Project Details
- Reduced motorist congestion at Gilmerton Bridge and alternate routes
- Increased clearance to accommodate marine and motorist traffic with fewer bridge openings
- Increased lane width to improve traffic flow and accommodate future widening of Military Highway
- First-in-the-industry joint project risk management plan
- Among the largest drilled shafts (12 ft.) ever constructed using the oscillator method
- BIM Modeling – 4D program for structural steel detailing and erection
- Project-dedicated public information officer
- Limited access between railroad and existing bridge
- Limited construction vibration
- Restricted channel closures for maritime traffic
- Coordination with Norfolk Southern Railroad
- Tower erection over existing roadway
- Building new bridge over and under existing bridge
- Maximum 14-day closure allowance to float-in and set new lift span
- Tower jacking for possible foundation settlement
- Demolition of existing bridge under the newly constructed bridge
New Vertical-Lift Span Bridge
Four-lane, vertical-lift bridge: Composed of a single span which rises vertically, remaining parallel with the bridge deck, to accommodate maritime traffic and then descends to close.
Located on Military Highway, west of Bainbridge Boulevard
Crosses the Southern branch of the Elizabeth River
Lift Span Length: 250 ft.
Open Position: 135 ft.
Close Position: 35 ft.
Bridge width: 85 ft. wide.
Vertical lift towers: 207 ft. tall each; include 1,009 steel members, each
ranging from 5,000 pounds to 150,000 lbs.
Eight 12-ft.-diameter drilled shafts, among the largest in diameter ever constructed in the U.S. using the oscillator method with temporary casing
Total length of drill shafts: 124 ft.
10 million pounds of structural steel
3.1 million pounds of reinforcing steel
30,000 cubic yards of concrete
7,000 cubic yards of structural fill
4,500 linear feet of drainage pipe
Four 15-ft.-high retaining walls
Eight 15-ft.-diameter sheaves
200 different assembly lots of bolts
Phase I: Commencement of project: November 2009
Shift of existing four-lane traffic to two-lane traffic
Installion of 12-foot drill shafts
Construction of two southbound lanes, approach spans, lift span and towers
Installation of mechanical and electrical lift system
Phase II: January 2013
Float-in of bridge lift span
Connection of span to towers
Shift of traffic to new bridge, southside lanes
Phase III: Fall 2013
Demolition of existing bridge
Construction of north-side approaches
Construction of bridge protection system
Opening of all travel lanes
Estimated Final Completion: Fall 2015
Rush Hour Restrictions:
During all phases of construction, attention has been given to minimizing impacts to the motoring public, including during peak travel periods such as morning and afternoon rush hours.
In the News
Modern Steel, January 2013
ASCE Civil Engineering Magazine, December 2012
"Bascule Bridge Constructed Over Existing Crossing"
Construction Management Team
Virginia Department of Transportation
James S. Utterback, P.M.P., District Administrator
Mark Cacamis, P.E., State Construction Engineer
Bud Morgan, P.E., Area Construction Engineer
Ashton Lawler, P,E., State Structures and Bridge Division
Mitch Layton, Construction Manager
Construction, Engineering & Inspection
Parsons Brinckerhoff (Lead)
Hardesty and Hanover
McDonough Bolyard Peck, Inc.
Seventh Point Transportation PR
Engineer of Record
Modjeski and Masters – Moveable Bridge
Gannett Fleming – Approach Bridges
PCL Civil Construction, Inc.
EV Williams Inc.