Second closure of the JRB to begin this week

Published 9:20 am Monday, January 29, 2024

The second four-day shutdown of the James River Bridge is on schedule to begin next week.

Virginia Department of Transportation contractor crews will replace the second set of 40 cables original to the 41-year-old drawbridge that connects Newport News with Isle of Wight County. Preliminary work will begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 with single-lane closures in both directions. VDOT is warning motorists to expect additional single-lane closures and brief stoppages and test drawbridge lifts leading up to the four-day closure set to begin on Feb. 2.

The four-day closure, during which time all four travel lanes of the bridge will be impassable, is set to begin at 1 a.m. on Feb. 2 and continue through 5 a.m. on Feb. 6. During the full closure, a signed detour will be in place directing motorists to the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. Motorists can also take the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry in Surry County as an alternate route across the water.

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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, no bridge openings will be able to be performed during the four-day shutdown. Maritime travel impacts may extend up to 24 hours after vehicular travel resumes to ensure the bridge span is aligned and operating properly after a series of test lifts.

If VDOT is unable to implement the closure during the scheduled dates, the four-day shutdown will be delayed to Feb. 8-12. If the backup dates are used, the closure will begin at 1 a.m. on Feb. 8 and end at 5 a.m. on Feb. 12.