Coast Guard to establish safety zones for Gilmerton Bridge replacement

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jan 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-05 15:01:36-05

Portsmouth, Va. – The Coast Guard will establish and enforce safety zones along the Elizabeth River, beginning at 6 a.m. Monday to facilitate the safe movement of the new Gilmerton Bridge span.

The safety zone will follow the new span as it transits via tug and barge from the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River to the existing Gilmerton Bridge in Chesapeake.

The moving safety zone will initially close the entire waterway route from the Campostella Bridge to the Gilmerton Bridge. As the tug and barge transporting the bridge span passes, the waterway 400 feet behind the tug and barge will immediately reopen to vessel traffic.

A second safety zone will be established and includes all waters directly under and 200 feet on either side of the Gilmerton Bridge and will remain in effect for approximately five days. The safety zone will be enforced by Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary members with support from the Norfolk Fire, Norfolk Police and Chesapeake Police marine units.

“I am excited that this new bridge span is being moved into position to help facilitate the replacement of a very important piece of the transportation infrastructure within our port,” said Capt. John Little, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads. “I truly appreciate all of the collaborative work by VDOT and our port partners to ensure the safety and success of this complex operation.”

The Gilmerton Bridge replacement project on Military Highway in the city of Chesapeake will provide a new lift span bridge over the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and replace the existing double-leaf bascule bridge constructed in 1938.

For more information on the work being done to the Gilmerton Bridge, visit the Virginia Department of Transportation at To receive additional information about the Gilmerton Bridge replacement project closure, email