James River Bridge set for extended closure

Published 2:48 pm Thursday, January 11, 2024

Critical maintenance on the James River Bridge will cause the bridge to close for five days beginning Friday, Jan. 12 at 1 a.m. and continuing through Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 5 a.m., the Route 17 James River Bridge (JRB) will be closed while contractor crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) perform critical maintenance work. During the outage, crews will replace 40 of the bridge’s 80 counterweight wire ropes that are necessary to lift the bridge span for marine traffic. The contractor will first implement a single-lane closure in both directions on the JRB starting as early as 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 11, followed by the full closure being implemented in both directions at 1 a.m. on Jan. 12.

During the full extended closure, a signed detour will be in place to direct motorists 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 closure, 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 this timeframe, 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.

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If unable to implement the closure during the scheduled dates, VDOT will provide advance notice to the public should the contractor need to utilize the following approved backup dates of 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23

The second set of ropes will be replaced during an additional full closure, which is scheduled from 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, with the approved backup dates of 1 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 12.