RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Start planning your alternate route now. Interstate 95 bridge repairs will squeeze traffic to just one lane near Laburnum Avenue this month.
It's part of VDOT's $106 million project to upgrade 11 of the city's bridges along I-95. It's work that will continue for at least the next three years.
The bridge repair project begins with the Interstate 95 bridge over Laburnum Avenue. The work there could take three entire weekends.
The stretch of I-95 will be down to one lane from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday on at least two weekends: starting October 21 and 28. If workers can't get the project done in that time, they'll use the weekend of November 4 too.
They are the bridges used by tens of thousands traveling north and south on I-95 and all those miles have left some wear and tear.
"The bridges along interstate 95 are very old. More than 50 years and the reason for this project is so that we can replace them so they can live another 50 years," said Dawn Eischen of VDOT.
VDOT has federal funding to help replace 11 bridges in the city, the first at Laburnum Avenue.
"What we're going to be doing is taking the top section of this bridge off and bringing in a new section and placing it down into the road," said Eischen. This will likely mean more traffic for drivers.
VDOT officials say about One hundred-sixty thousand cars come across this bridge each day. When this construction is underway, and traffic is narrowed to one lane, they say things will be very congested and it's in your best interest, to use an alternate route.
"For the two weekends that we're talking about, if you plan to drive I-95 through Richmond, please use one of the alternates. I guarantee you, you will be stuck in traffic if you don't," said Eischen.
VDOT expects a traffic back-up on I-95 all the way to the Bryan Park Interchange. It's encouraging drivers to use I-295, Route 288, and 195 instead. and hoping advertisements like billboards will help drivers avoid the problem.
VDOT says that the bridges on this list are all safe, but they need the upgrades to stay safe. If you're unsure about how to avoid this stretch of road- or want to learn more about the phases of the project we will have all that information call 1-800-FORROAD, or www.195bridges.com