VIDEO: Bridge along main route from Virginia to Outer Banks fully reopened after quick repairs

VIDEO: Bridge along main route from Virginia to Outer Banks fully reopened after quick repairs

May 25th, 2023

Contractors for the City of Chesapeake needed just three days to repair a damaged girder supporting a bridge along the main route to the Outer Banks from Virginia.

The underside of of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Bridge along the V.A. 168 Bypass/Chesapeake Expressway near Great Bridge was struck by a Norfolk Dredging Company spud barge on May 11, according to the City of Chesapeake.

The following day, an inspection of the bridge confirmed a girder supporting the southbound side had been damaged and the outside lane was closed to traffic.

Support beam under the A&C Canal Bridge along the Chesapeake Expressway that was damaged on May 11, 2023. [City of Chesapeake photo]
Engineers said the bridge remained safe for most traffic to use, but dump trucks and tractor-trailers were not allowed due to a temporary weight restriction.

The closure of the right southbound lane caused major delays not only between I-64 and the bridge, as southbound traffic jammed the other crossings of the canal on Battlefield Boulevard through Great Bridge and along Centerville Turnpike.

Contractors arrived late Sunday, which required the southbound, right lane to be closed again and they worked day and night to complete the repairs well ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

“Thank you for your patience while we worked to fix this important route through our city,” according to a news release.

“We are very grateful that we were able to get the contractor in town just days after we were informed of the incident, that they brought enough supplies and crew members to work 24/7, and that by the time they were able to put eyes on the damage, it was determined that the fix could be accomplished quicker than originally anticipated,” the city said Tuesday.

Cost of the repairs have not been released, and the city plans to seek full reimbursement from Norfolk Dredging.

While the A&C Canal bridge has fully reopened, construction work is still in progress along I-64 in Chesapeake that will slow traffic coming to the Outer Banks from points north.

Additional lanes, including a toll express lane, is being added to the interstate from the I-664/I-264/U.S. 58 interchange at Bowers Hill to the I-464/V.A. 168/U.S. 17 interchange.

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