TRAFFIC ALERT: Route 54 bridge work begins in Ashland - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

TRAFFIC ALERT: Route 54 bridge work begins in Ashland

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A heavily traveled bridge is getting a much needed makeover, but it's going to cause a lot of delays. VDOT is replacing the Route 54 bridge over Interstate 95. The work will take more than a year, reducing traffic down to just one lane in each direction. The new traffic pattern just got underway Thursday.

"I've lived here my whole life," said Taylor Adams, who lives near the construction.

In that time, Taylor has gotten to know quite a bit about traffic in the area. He says, normally, "it's really not too bad."

He lives just steps away from Route 54 in Ashland. He says with all the construction happening, he's expecting to see things change, and says in some ways they already have.

"It's busy. I don't like it. I'll tell you, I don't know what they are doing but I know it makes it hard for a lot of folks," said Adams.

VDOT is replacing the Route 54 bridge over I-95. The vertical clearance of the bridge will also be raised to 16.5 feet. Lanes will be reduced to just 1 in each direction and the speed limit will drop to 35 miles an hour.

We spoke with several business owners who say everyone in this area is going to be affected by this bridge work and they're expecting some pretty big back-up's but those business owners also understand the need for the bridgework. So to ease some of the potential congestion, VDOT has installed temporary traffic signals.

That means people like Taylor Adams are making a few travel adjustments.

"I try to go the back way now," he told us.

But he says he's all for neighborhood upgrades.

"If it's going to be an improvement, that's good with us. We'll get through it," Adams added.

Work on the route 54 Bridge is expected to wrap up in November of 2015.

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