The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved two contracts Nov. 16 valued at $35.8 million for central Virginia construction.
Tidewater Skanska Inc. of Norfolk, Va., was awarded a $33.6 million contract to replace the existing Judith Stewart Dresser Memorial Bridge (Route 5) over the Chickahominy River that connects Charles City and James City counties. Construction will begin in January 2007. Traffic is anticipated to be routed from the old bridge to the new bridge in July 2009. Demolition of the old bridge will occur soon thereafter with final project completion in July 2010.
Motorists will continue to use the old bridge during construction of the new bridge. Construction crews will need to open the old bridge’s swing span in order to transport materials to the worksite on barges, which will require a temporary delay in traffic. When the new bridge nears completion, daytime lane closures may be needed in order to tie the existing roadways into the new bridge traffic pattern.
The current 67-year-old bridge functions as a swing-span, meaning it pivots on an axis to allow boats to pass through an opening rather than lifting upward like a bridge. The new, half-mile long fixed-span bridge will rise 52 ft. above the water and will include two 12-ft. travel lanes, two 10-ft. shoulders and a 10-ft. shared-use path (separated from the main roadway by a divider) incorporated into the Virginia Capital Trail project.
Blakemore Construction Corporation of Richmond, Va., was awarded a $2.2 million contract to improve Newby’s Bridge Road at the intersection of Qualla Road in Chesterfield County. The project will add a westbound left turn lane and northbound right turn lane. It will also improve the horizontal and vertical curve to meet the required 50 mph speed design. This project is expected to be completed by November 2007.