HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The 25,000 drivers who use the Huguenot Bridge each day are in for some major changes. We've known this traffic shift was coming for some time now as crews are in the process of replacing the aging bridge, but Saturday morning makes it official.
The change means several lane closures and a 35 mile per hour speed limit.
Project Manager Ray Johnston says, "Tomorrow is a go; we are supposed to have nice weather."
The Southbound lane leading up to the bridge will close just south of River Road. All cars traveling South will cross over the median and share the northbound lane. You can expect about a 5 to 10 minute delay, maybe longer during high traffic times like evening rush hour.
Johnston says, "We'll feel like Monday evening will be the real opening to changing the maintenance of traffic."
Business owners on either side of the bridge have expressed concerns about the traffic hang-ups for fear their wallets will take a hit.
Ellen McDonald, a business owner says, "My first instinct is to say it's going to impact it negatively, I'm optimistic that it won't."
Project leaders say it will be worth it in the end. The new bridge will have shoulders wide enough to serve as a bike lane and allow broken down cars to pull over without affecting other traffic. New sidewalks will also allow people to enjoy the river.
Johnston says, "Personally I'm tired of keeping the old bridge up. It's time for a new bridge, and I think everybody realizes that, it's just there are some traffic delays and shifts we need to do while we build the new bridge.