Saturday, April 20, 2024

Multiday Closures for JRB Scheduled for the Weekend

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

NEWPORT NEWS/ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY — The Route 17 James River Bridge (JRB) will be closed to vehicular traffic and maritime vessels that require a bridge lift while contractor crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) perform critical maintenance work starting Friday, Feb. 2 at 1 a.m. and continuing through Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 5 a.m.

The maritime closure may extend up to an additional 24 hours — through 5 a.m. Feb. 7 — according to VDOT.

During the closure, crews will replace the second set of 40 of the bridge’s 80 counterweight wire ropes that are necessary to lift the bridge span for marine traffic.

The contractor will first implement a single-lane closure in both directions on the JRB starting as early as 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1, followed by the full closure being implemented in both directions at 1 a.m. on Feb. 2, VDOT said.

As part of preliminary work on this project, motorists can anticipate additional single-lane closures and brief, intermittent stoppages and test lifts at the JRB leading up to next week’s full closure, it added.

During the full extended closure, VDOT said a signed detour will be in place directing motorists 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.

For maritime travel during the closure, marine vessels that do not require a bridge opening can continue to use the navigational channel under the bridge throughout the project’s duration. However, during this timeframe, no bridge openings can be performed for marine vessels that require a bridge lift, VDOT said.

Maritime travel impacts may extend up to an additional 24 hours to ensure the bridge span is aligned and operating properly after a series of test lifts; however, VDOT will provide updates should this extension occur.

During the closure, VDOT encourages motorists to limit their travel or plan ahead using its free 511 traffic tools or the free 511-integrated Waze GPS mobile app.

Before traveling, VDOT advises to check traffic conditions by using its 511Virginia.org, the 511 Virginia mobile app, or by calling 511 while in Virginia, which offers information about road conditions, traffic, incidents, construction and congestion, as well as access to traffic cameras, weather and more.

If unable to implement the closure during the scheduled dates, VDOT said it will provide advance notice to the public should the contractor need to utilize the following approved backup dates of 1 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 12 (Tuesday, Feb. 13 for marine traffic requiring bridge lifts).

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