Funding could finally be in place to replace the Deep Creek Bridge

Posted at 10:55 AM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 17:14:11-05

Chesapeake, Va. (WTKR) - A long anticipated project to replace the Deep Creek Bridge in Chesapeake could finally be materializing.

The 80-year-old draw bridge over the Dismal Swamp Canal is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

It was declared functionally obsolete in 1996, which meant travel restrictions were put into place to limit what vehicles could travel over top of it.

Ever since then, efforts have been ongoing to replace the bridge but funding has never materialized, until now.

The Corps of Engineers work plan for 2016 includes $10 million for the project and there's $12 million in the president's budget for fiscal year 2017.

As part of the cost-sharing agreement, Chesapeake needs to provide $20 million of the total $42 million needed for the new bridge. The city is hoping that money will come from House Bill 2.

Alvin Brown owns a barber shop just a stone's throw away from the foot of the Deep Creek Bridge.

Over the decades he's watched as traffic has gotten worse.

"I hope everything turns out alright because we really need to replace it. You know this is a necessity for this area, we need that with the traffic that comes through here," Brown told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Thursday.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the plan is to build the new bridge and then turn over ownership and maintenance to the City of Chesapeake, similar to what was done with the Great Bridge Bridge.