VDOT announces new James River Bridge work plan

Posted at 8:52 PM, Sep 26, 2012

VDOT announced a new plan for bridge deck replacement work at the James River Bridge on Wednesday.

This weekend, VDOT will close one lane in each direction so that they can do demolition work to create a crossover point on the bridge.

That will allow traffic to switch onto the opposing bridge during the scheduled bridge deck replacement weekends.

Read the full statement from VDOT hereexplaining the work.

Last week, VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick said the agency was worried about the bi-directional traffic plan because of the 5 mile length of the James River Bridge.

"We’re frankly just concerned about that long a detour with opposing traffic. Our own traffic safety manual says that we don’t do that for more than two miles," Kilpatrick explained.

On Wednesday, VDOT Public Affairs Manager Lauren Hansen said the new plan would fall within the safety guidelines.

"The crossover will allow us to shorten the distance of the bi-directional traffic to 2 miles instead of the 5 mile length of the bridge," Hansen said.

VDOT isn't sure yet how much the demolition or additional traffic detour measures will cost.

Hansen says VDOT is also working on a plan to be able to use the crossover point in case of emergencies in the future after the bridge deck work is complete.