VDOT reevaluates I-95 bridge work to avoid problems

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Major road work picks back up this week along I-95 in Richmond. VDOT is in the process of replacing 11 aging bridges in the next few years. But, going forward, crews are making some changes so old problems do not reoccur.

It was back in the fall when VDOT was starting the first phase of the replacement project. Crews were working on getting ready to replace part of the bridge when a steel expansion dam appeared. It wasn't in the blueprint and it put more work onto the hands of the already busy construction crews. Now, VDOT is making those changes.

The undertaking is huge: 11 bridges on I-95 through the heart of Richmond are being lifted out of the road and replaced. That process got a little more difficult during the first phase of the project back in the fall. That's when an unexpected piece of steel, encased in decades of concrete, appeared.

"It was frustrating to go out and all of the sudden there is extra work that needs to be done," said Dawn Eischen with VDOT.

Extra crews were brought in to help, but an extra weekend of work was needed to get the first job done.

So, now VDOT crews are planning ahead for the worst. "This time, they went in ahead of time and took it out so they can easily lift the old part out and put the new part in," added Eischen.

Construction crews are expecting the same piece of steel to likely be in each of the 11 bridges being replaced. So, similar work will be done going forward, to avoid any delays to the project and inconvenience your ride.

"They are going to go in and take the piece out weeks before," said Eischen. "They are just going to be doing a little more work on the nights and weeks before they do the replacement."

Despite the problem earlier this year, we're told the project was not pushed behind schedule.

The current work being done on the Lombardy Street Bridge is expected to take place Monday through Wednesday nights from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning. That schedule is weather permitting.

During the work, both the north and southbound side of I-95 will be on the same side of the road, with only one lane open in each direction.

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