Traffic delays, Construction underway at Laburnum Bridge - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Traffic delays, Construction underway at Laburnum Bridge

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Traffic on I-95 will be at a crawl most of this weekend. The road work at the Laburnum Avenue Bridge is shutting down the interstate to just one lane all weekend long. 

VDOT officials are advising drivers to avoid the area if at all possible.

"Traffic is just going to be sick. One lane? Are you serious? Going up and down?" said Sife Richardson. "I don't think 95's the place to do that at - right there. Not in this area, you know what I mean?"

"Construction on 95 period is an inconvenience," added Traci Johnson, who also drives the area regularly. "Different lanes are reduced to one lane and then you have big trucks in your way and everyone's moving at a slow pace."

The interstate has been closed down to one lane in each direction for bridge construction and VDOT officials say if you do decide to try it, you could be delayed 30 minutes to an hour. That's bad news for taxi driver, Autumn Pierce, who drives back and forth through town for Napoleon Taxi all the time.

"If it takes too long to get to someone's house," said Pierce. "People are going to cancel or call another cab company, we don't like that. It's going to affect us if we don't show up on time."

VDOT crews say this is really the only way to get the work done, doing it with the roads open could take years and they have 11 bridges to do.  

"It's really difficult to replace a bridge while people are driving on it," said Dawn Eischen, a VDOT Spokesperson.

Crews plan to remove the bridge in pieces, replacing it with a brand new bridge that was pre-built somewhere else.

Most we spoke to said, they'll use a back-up plan.

"Thank God, of all the million things I have to do this weekend, I don't have to get on 95," said Tricia Johnson. 

"Definitely GPS. Definitely alternate routes," added Pierce.

"I'm gonna try 295," said Richardson. "I'm gonna try to avoid it definitely! I'm going to try that instead of going down I-95. I definitely don't want to get stuck in traffic."

All the work is supposed to be cleared up by Monday at 6 a.m. Eischen says the contractor will actually be charged for each minute he goes over that time slot.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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