VDOT planning I-95, 64 bridge replacement projects

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A meeting is set for tonight at 5:30 p.m. for you to ask questions about a bridge replacement project on both Interstate 95 and Interstate 64 in Richmond.

The Richmond area is getting first dibs on hundreds of millions of dollars to do all this work. One of the bridges you'll eventually see transformed is the overpass at The Boulevard.

But it doesn't stop here and tonight you can learn about it all.

Regular I-95 driver Tera Shell knows just how bumpy the ride over the bridges in the Richmond area are. "I get kind of scared when the wind is blowing especially and there's shaking going on. It's like okay what's going on here. Is this an earthquake?"

Luckily no. But all that rattling of her car and the thousands of others that ride on the road is getting the attention of VDOT crews.

"These bridges are in much need of some dire love and care," says Taya Jarman with VDOT.

We are talking about the Boulevard, Hermitage, Robin Hood Road bridges, along with several others. In all, it's a four-year project spanning a 7-mile stretch of overpasses between Lombardy Street and Upham Brook that will soon see a new surface for you to drive on.

There will also be structural improvements to the bridges. You'll start to see that work in 2012. It will be done at night, but traffic will still be impacted.

"It's important to note that 95 will never be completely shut down. Motorists can always use 95 with some congestion of course," says Jarman.

But before then, other work is underway to get these bridges ready for the makeover.

"Prep work and minor repairs so there might be individual lane closures," says Jarman.

Tonight, you can also ask about another project set to start in the spring on the Shockoe Valley Bridge. We've seen crews doing minor repairs there recently. But soon a new driving surface will emerge there, too. That project is also only night work.

It's all work that Tera is looking forward to. "They just need to get on with it," she said.

The work on the Shockoe Valley Bridge is set to be completed by the fall of 2012.

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