Delays in Boulevard Bridge Work

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You can expect some major traffic headaches on I-95 for the next couple days. Traffic will be down to just one lane in each direction most of this week.

Crews were supposed to start replacing the Boulevard bridge Monday, but now VDOT says contractors will take the next week to start preparing to do that work.

Traffic will be down to one lane from 8 PM to 6 AM each night from Sunday through Thursday.

Usually road work also means traffic delays. Emily Gilbert knows this all too well. She takes this stretch of I-95 every day to get to work.

"(The) backups are long," Gilbert said. "I have a stick shift so it's awful."

She's one of many drivers that are already dreading the headaches expected as work starts on the bridge.

Before the first day of construction, VDOT says it's already delaying the work to give the contractor more time to set up. So far VDOT says there's no specific reason for why the contractors say they need the extra prep work.

VDOT ran into problems last year replacing the Laburnum Bridge. Officials say the Boulevard Bridge will be replaced in the exact same way.

Crews will replace the bridge using two cranes. Large sections of the bridge will be removed, loaded onto a truck and then hauled away. A new section will then be placed in the gap.

Last fall workers found large pieces of steel encased in decades of concrete and asphalt at the laburnum bridge.

Sundra Hominik of VDOT says there could be more surprises at the Boulevard bridge.

"When you're dealing with older bridges, which these are, you're not quite sure what you might encounter," Hominik said.  "You don't know what you'll find."

Gilbert says she's now going to have to give herself some extra time in the morning to get through the extra traffic.

"It's going to suck going to work," Gilbert said.  "Everyone is going to be mad. No one leaves early so there's going to be traffic for a while."

VDOT recommends you avoid this area if you can.

VDOTalso says it won't know when the project might be finished until crews start the actual bridge replacement, May 1st.

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