RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A traffic alert for drivers using the Boulevard Bridge. Crews are starting work on preventative maintenance today and that means alternating lane closures 9:30am- 3pm and likely some delays over the next three weeks.
You may think nothing is going on at all, but that's because right now all the preliminary work is being done underneath the bridge. The good news for drivers, lane closures won't begin until later this week, and even then it won't be everyday.
An annual bridge inspection revealed the Nickel Bridge was due for maintenance repair. Rust has been accumulating on the steel beams, and while its not a safety issue at this point, it could be.
RMA Assistant Director of Operations, David Caudill says, "Its an old truss bridge built in 1925, its the kind of thing you have to stay on top of, you don't want anything to deteriorate to the point where you actually have permanent damage."
So the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, which oversees the bridge, is beginning a two month preventative maintenance project. Crews are working underneath the bridge.
Caudill says, "We're going to be going through the bridge finding areas where there is some rust, knocking the rust off and then going back with our 2 coat paint system."
Mostly out of sight and out of the way. Only the first three weeks will traffic be impacted with alternating lane closures to accomodate equipment and the staging area. Sidewalks will remain open for pedestrians.
Caudill says, "We're staying out of the rush hours, we're only blocking one lane there will be flaggers there to control traffic as they go through. It won't be everyday."
There were no lane closures today, that's not expected to happen until later this week. Signs will be posted alerting drivers the day traffic patterns change. The entire project is expected to take about two months.