Hundreds, if not thousands, of drivers who take Interstate 95 southbound into Richmond Thursday morning dealt with major delays.
A problem with construction on the Lombardy Street Bridge is the cause of this traffic headache. After several hours, all three southbound lanes finally reopened.
But throughout morning rush hour, drivers were backed up for miles. At one point, the line of cars was at least six miles long.
Now, a VDOT spokesperson says the contractor is facing some major fines.
Overnight construction crews encountered a problem on the Lombardy Street Bridge when they tried to remove one of the pier caps. The pier cap is the horizontal part that connects the column to the bridge.
"They were just having difficulty removing the piece it just wasn't coming out as easy," says Dawn Eischen, a VDOT spokesperson.
The problem became a major safety issue. According to VDOT, without proper removal the bridge could not support the weight of cars on all three lanes.
"Completely shutting down 95-southbound wasn't even an option. If we can keep one travel lane open, we're going to do that," Eischen said.
Contractors have a strict 6 a.m. deadline for all interstate projects. Since the contractor for this project Archer Western missed it, the company is now facing thousands of dollars in fines.
"So for every 15 minutes they're out in the road, they get penalized and that amount increases the longer they're out there," Eischen said. She also added that the company has been penalized before for missing the deadline.
No word yet on how much the fines will be. VDOT says the contractor notified them about the problem with the pier cap well before morning rush hour.
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