Bridge closing Sunday for work

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 13, 2005

Staff report

The Virginia Department of Transportation will temporarily close the James River Bridge Sunday morning to remove and refurbish the motor that controls the south ends of both bridge-lift spans.

The bridge will be temporarily closed to motorists traveling on U.S. Route 17 North from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday and to motorists traveling on Route 17 South from 9 to 10 a.m. This closure will allow crews to station a crane in the travel lanes of the bridge to remove the motor, said


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Lauren K. Hansen, spokeswoman for VDOT. A back-up motor will allow crews to continue opening the bridge to river traffic until the primary motor is replaced on Nov. 20.

For crews to disable and remove the motor, the spans will not be able to open for maritime traffic passage through the weekend, said Hansen. The part of the

waterway will be closed from 7 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14 through to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17.

&uot;We are in the second stage of this project where it is necessary to disable portions of the bridge to gain access to the motor for refurbishment,&uot; said facilities manager Mike Dangerfield. &uot;The work we are doing now is crucial for the bridge to function properly this upcoming winter.&uot;

The motor, along with its counterpart that controls the north end of the bridge, is being refurbished by Electric Motor Services of Chesapeake, under a $160,000 maintenance contract.

The maintenance work was recommended by consultants who tested and reviewed the electrical components of the bridge after it failed to seat properly last December.

Motorists can expect a similar closure on Nov. 20 for crews to replace the newly refurbished motor, Hansen said. This will be the final closure for the motor refurbishment contract.

This work was scheduled during off-peak travel hours to minimize the impact to motorists. During this closure, motorists should use the I-664 Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel to access the Southside or the Peninsula.

This closure will not impact maritime traffic.