Bargain Contract Approved to Replace Huguenot Bridge
The Commonwealth Transportation Board has just awarded a 35 million dollar contract to replace the 61-year old Huguenot Bridge. That's 24 percent under what was budgeted for the project. Charles Fishburne reports that in an era of tight money, it was one project that had top priority.
VDOT rates all its bridges on a scale of 0-100.
Hawthorne: 100 would be a brand-new bridge, let's say, 0 would be the worst bridge in the state.
Tom Hawthorne is Richmond District Administrator.
Hawthorne: The Hugenot bridge, I believe, had a sufficiency rating of 5.
Time for a new bridge that will be built right next to it, just upstream, and will have the same two lanes, but add a ten-foot-wide shoulder on each side.
Hawthorne: There'll be a breakdown lane for motorists who experience problems and that does happen occasionally. That'll also allow bicyclists to cross the bridge without having to get into traffic. The bridge will also have five-foot sidewalks on each side to allow pedestrians across.
Construction should start this winter; completion date is October 2013. Traffic will be moved over as soon as two lanes are completed, and VDOT says commuter disruption will be minimal and the old bridge should hold up just long enough.
Hawthorne: It will be safe.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News