Interstate 95 bridge work begins Friday night

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Construction for the I-95 bridge replacement starts Friday night.

Major delays are expected once 95 is shut down to just one lane near Laburnum Avenue. That starts at 8 p.m. You definitely will want to avoid traveling over Laburnum Ave. on I-95.

"We're trying to get the word out to people to use the alternate routes, I-295, route 288, the Downtown Expressway, any route you can use to get around I-95 at the Bryant Park interchange," said Dawn Eischen from the Virginia Dept. of Transportation.

That's because only one lane will be open to drivers.

"We're expecting several miles of backup on I-95," said Eischen.

Two cranes on either side will lift a section of the bridge and place it on a truck so it can be hauled away. A new section will be brought in and be placed in the gap. Then, the process will be repeated.

Every move has been timed out. VDOT plans to keep a close eye on the contractors. They want to make sure the south bound lanes are replaced this weekend and northbound lanes replaced the following weekend.

During construction, traffic will be tight.

"It'll be one lane in each direction from Friday night into Monday morning just prior to rush hour," said Eischen.

This replacement is part of VDOT's $106 million project to upgrade 11 of the city's bridges along 95.  It's work that will continue for at least the next 3 years.

This bridge is more than 50 years old and was in dire need of replacing.

"We want them to be there and be safe for everyone for another 50 years so we have to get these replaced and do it as soon as possible," said Eischen.

The goal is to get this bridge replacement done by next weekend, and by then there should be an entirely new bridge off Laburnum.

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