New Huguenot Bridge construction could begin this year

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Work could begin on the new Huguenot Bridge before the end of 2010 and could be complete by fall 2013.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $35 million contract today to replace the 61-year-old, two-lane span over the James River that connects River Road on the north side and Huguenot Road on the south side.

The new structure will have one 12 foot lane and one 10 foot shoulder in each direction. The 10 foot shoulder will function as both an emergency lane and a lane to allow bicyclists to safely use the bridge. In addition, there will be a five foot wide sidewalk on each side for pedestrians. The existing bridge is one lane in each direction with a pedestrian sidewalk and no shoulders. Recent traffic counts indicate the bridge carries an average of 28,000 vehicles per day.

The new bridge will be built in two phases. The first phase will involve constructing the western half of the new bridge while traffic is maintained on the existing bridge. During phase two, traffic will be shifted onto the new section of the bridge that was built during phase one. At that time, the existing Huguenot Bridge will be torn down and the second half of the new bridge will be constructed. VDOT will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction during construction with occasional lane closures during off peak hours.

Tidewater Skanska USA Civil Southeast Inc. was the low bidder for the job.  Work will begin in the fall with completion expected by October 2013. Skanska recently built the new Judith Stewart Dresser Memorial Bridge over the Chickahominy River, which was opened to traffic in January 2009—approximately seven months ahead of schedule.

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