Lesner Bridge replacement project underway

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jun 13, 2014

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - After years of planning and a few roadblocks along the way, the much-anticipated Lesner Bridge Replacement project is underway in Virginia Beach.

McLean Construction received the Notice to Proceed on June 2, 2014.

The project will replace the current spans of the Lesner Bridge over the Lynnhaven Inlet that were built in 1958 and 1967.

"The existing bridges have met their service life and it is time to replace them," Virginia Beach Public Works Transportation Division Project Management Supervisor David Jarman explained.

The City of Virginia Beach estimates nearly 43,000 cars use the corridor along Shore Drive daily.

"This project took 7 years to get to construction, which as crazy as it sounds, is warp speed for this industry and to see it come to fruition and trucks and equipment moving it’s really exciting," Jarman told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

Virginia Beach cautions there may not be many visible signs of progress at first thanks to the way the new bridge is being built.

"With these segments, a lot of these precast units are going to be built and sitting in a yard. So if we come back and tell you the bridge is halfway done and you don’t see a whole lot of work out here, people are going to be surprised, but once it gets started, it goes very quickly," Jarman explained.

Construction on the replacement bridge is expected to take three years, with a target date for the new bridge to be fully operational in June 2017.