Huguenot Bridge to be Shut Down for Four Days
Richmond’s 61-year old Huguenot Bridge will be shut down beginning tomorrow morning for three, possibly four days, to complete the annual inspection that precipitated emergency repairs last month. Charles Fishburne reports.
The bridge is old, overtaxed, and officially classified as “deficient.”
Martin: Deficient doesn't mean unsafe, it just means that there's some deterioration out there.
Gary Martin is the Richmond District Bridge Engineer, responsible for 2700 of them in 14 counties, and he’s the one who posted the current three ton limits, while repairs were underway.
Martin: Oh, it's definitely one of the worst that we've got in the Richmond area, as far as deficiencies go.
He says a cursory inspection has not revealed any more serious problems, and when his inspection team is done early next week, he expects the bridge to reopen to cars, trucks and buses, as before.
Martin: Again, it's not unsafe because we do these inspections and whenever we see a problem, we immediately repair it.
The bridge is bad enough that VDOT will spend 65 million precious dollars on a replacement that is at least 18 months away; meantime, Gary and his inspection team will be watching it…closely.
Martin: Well, I don't gamble with safety.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News