Failing joints on Broad Street Bridge

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A traffic alert in Richmond, where failing joints on a small but highly utilized bridge has VDOT crews working on emergency repairs, Friday.

Alternating lane closures will mean traffic delays on the Broad Street Bridge over I-95. VDOT official say if it wasn't for a bridge inspector who came across the problem this morning going up the bridge, the problem would have gone unnoticed.

"Having that trained eye being an employee, it really helped out and allowed us to act quickly," said VDOT spokesperson, Taya Jarman.

Jarman says the loose joint is only in one spot on the bridge and reassures drivers, the bridge is still sound and they shouldn't worry about a collapse.

"As far as the way drivers go across the road and what they feel there will be no difference immediately that's why it's so good we catch this in advance," said Jarman.

VDOT officials estimate permanent repairs should cost about $10,000. They say the snowy winter is partly to blame for the loose joints, but also credits the constant traffic on that bridge which was built in the 1970's.

"There are some pressure and some stress being the cause to the bridge joints in this area," said Jarman.

The bridge was last inspected in September. Back then VDOT didn't see any red flags.

"When it was inspected last year, we found that things were safe, and that the bridge was structurally sound." Said Jarman. "And it still is today, but this is something that is more of a precautionary measure," she said.

And because of the weather VDOT says it can only get to the temporary repairs Friday, once the weather permits, next week they will get to the permanent repairs.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.