I-95 South back open after repairs to metal plate - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

I-95 South back open after repairs to metal plate

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At 4:00 Thursday afternoon, all lanes of I-95 South re-opened after 10 and a half hours of major delays starting at the Belvidere exit after emergency repairs tied up traffic for miles since early in the morning.

It's a problem that seemed to surface out of nowhere. A damaged steel plate on the interstate caused major delays.

"I got off before I got up that far because I knew it was there," said Robert Morris who drives for a living.

He tries to be two steps ahead of situations like this.

"It's always backed up," he said.

In this case - VDOT says  a bus ran over a metal plate that was temporarily connecting two sections of the new bridge. Then, another car hit that plate. Crews were immediately called to replace it with dry cement - which meant, for much of the day - drivers had to travel on one lane in what's supposed to be a three lane section of interstate.

"The bulk of our business is between 12 and 1:30," said Kathy Deleguardia of Brook's Diner.

Just off the interstate, managers say business at the restaurant took a hit.

"We had a full house yesterday this time. We were hopping...Today, it's just unusual that we're this empty," she said.

Deleguardia says construction crews make up much of her clientele as well as travelers. Thursday, if you wanted to get there by interstate, it just meant waiting it out.

Morris says, it's why he stays prepared.

"I pay attention to the news in the morning but for people that don't it's got to affect them," he said.

As VDOT crews get a hold of the situation, this restaurant manager is crossing her fingers.

"Some more business once it's fixed. That's what I hope for," Deleguardia said.

With construction ongoing at I-95, this is a scenario that can pop up at any time and as drivers learned today, patience is key.

VDOT says it tried to dry cement the two portions of the bridge Wednesday but due to rain conditions, crews had to place that metal plate - which was only meant to be a temporary fix.

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