JRB closures announced for wire rope replacement

Published 11:10 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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The contractor for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) James River Bridge, Wire Ropes Replacement Project, has announced its approved schedule to implement two extended roadway and maritime closures in January and February 2024 at the Route 17 James River Bridge between Newport News and Isle of Wight, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced in a media release. 

To replace the bridge’s 80 counterweight wire ropes necessary to lift the bridge span for marine traffic, the contractor must implement two separate, 100-hour full operational closures for maritime traffic that require bridge openings and all vehicular traffic.

Scheduled Closure Dates:

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The primary dates for the full roadway closures and restriction of all bridge lifts at the JRB are scheduled for:

  • 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16
  • 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6

Backup Closure Dates:

If unable to implement the closures during the scheduled dates above, VDOT will provide advance notice to the public should the contractor need to utilize the following approved backup dates instead:

  • 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23
  • 1 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 12

During the full closures, all traffic will be detoured 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 closures, 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 these timeframes, no bridge openings can be performed for marine vessels that require a bridge lift. 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.