Bridge undergoes inspection

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cars were backed up bumper to bumper.

The sun beat down on drivers, who impatiently searched through radio stations as traffic was stopped on the Mills E. Godwin Jr. Bridge Wednesday.

But the stop was for a good cause.

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The bridge was getting its bi-annual inspection by a subcontracted engineering firm, which caused traffic to be handled by a flagging operation. A traffic-control person at each end of the span allowed vehicles alternate passage across the bridge for the better part of the afternoon.

“The (traffic stop) was all for the inspection,” said Debbie George, Suffolk city spokesperson. “That will not be an issue tomorrow.”

Two years ago the bridge received a rating of six out of nine, nine being the rating applied to newly constructed facilities. No major defects or structural deficiencies of the bridge were noted at the time.

George said there will be a follow-up report with recommendations from this inspection released later, but there were no critical issues noted Wednesday.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Godwin Bridge was built in 1981 and has an average daily traffic count of more than 18,000. The bridge crosses over the Nansemond River and is on the aptly named, Bridge Road. The bridge is 4,102 feet in length and has a maximum span of 140 feet.