Wednesday, November 29, 2023

James River Bridge Wire Rope Replacement Scheduled to Begin in January

James River Bridge taken from the Hampton side. (WYDaily/Courtesy VDOT)
James River Bridge taken from the Hampton side. (WYDaily/Courtesy VDOT)

HAMPTON ROADS — The James River Bridge, which carries Route 17 between Newport News and Isle of Wight County, will see the replacement of the 80 counterweight wire ropes necessary to lift the bridge span for marine traffic in both January and February.

The James River Bridge (JRB) Wire Rope Replacement Project will replace the ropes that are housed in the two towers of the JRB facility. As part of the project, the contractor must implement two separate, 100-hour full operational closures of the bridge to maritime traffic that requires bridge openings, as well as to all vehicular traffic.

Scheduled Closure Dates: 

The primary dates for the full roadway closures and restriction of all bridge lifts at the JRB are scheduled for:

  • 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16
  • 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6

Backup Closure Dates:

If VDOT is unable to implement the closures during the scheduled dates it will provide advance notice to the public should the contractor need to utilize the following approved backup dates:

  • 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23
  • 1 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 12

Traffic Impacts During January/February Multiday Full Closures: 

Vehicular Traffic: The JRB will be closed to all vehicular traffic in both directions for up to four continuous days during each closure. During the full closures, all traffic will be detoured to the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as one of the primary alternate travel routes. Additional alternate routes include the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry and Route 460.

Maritime Traffic: During the closures, the bridge cannot conduct any openings for marine vessels requiring a bridge lift. Maritime travel impacts may extend to an additional contingency day to ensure the bridge span is aligned and operating properly. Marine vessels that do not require a bridge opening can continue to use the navigational channel under the bridge throughout the project’s duration.

For further information, view the project’s Frequently Asked Questions.

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