Delays expected as bridge replacements begin

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We have some big road construction projects along I-95, you will need to know about so you don't get caught up in traffic that closed lanes and maintenance may cause.

Crews are busy repairing the lower part of the I-95 bridge over Laburnum Avenue. One week from Friday, they'll be replacing the top with brand new concrete units. VDOT says they're supposed to last much longer.

"We're bringing that technology here so those bridges can outlive those previous bridges," said VDOT Spokesperson, Dawn Eischen.

They're expected to last for roughly 75 years. Some of these bridges are more than 50-years old.

Starting next weekend, crews will take a piece of the Laburnum bridge out and replace it with a new section in the southbound lane. They assemble the units in a construction yard, and haul them piece by piece to the bridge site.

"They come apart like a puzzle and we put them back like a puzzle," said Project Manager, Andrew Palahnuk. "It's the same width, nearly the same components, just newer."

There are 11 total bridge projects. This one is expected to last two consecutive weekends. October 21-24, and the following weekend October 28-31. VDOT warns people to be extremely careful when driving by this area. Traffic will be shut down to one lane each side from 8:00 p.m. Friday through 8:00 a.m., Monday.

"The folks on the other side of the orange barrels have families they have to go home to every night, so just be courteous," Eischen noted.

Drivers can take other roads to avoid the construction. Use I-295, Route 288 or the Downtown Expressway to get around the maintenance project.

VDOT says it's a temporary inconvenience, which will keep drivers safer down the road. The whole bridge project is expected to last about two years.

For more information on the restoration project, visit: