Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez recently visited Chesapeake, Va., for an update on the Gilmerton Bridge replacement project, which will help relieve congestion in the Hampton Roads area.
"This project is an example of President Obama's plan to rebuild America's transportation infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Replacing this critical bridge means jobs today and economic growth well into the future."
The new Gilmerton Bridge on Military Highway will be a lift-span bridge and is expected to be completed in early 2014. It will replace the existing double-leaf bascule bridge, which swings to the side to accommodate river traffic. The bridge was constructed in 1938 and has reached its life expectancy. The bridge is a vital transportation route for more than 35,000 motorists a day.
The higher vertical clearance of 35 ft in the closed position will accommodate marine traffic traveling on the Elizabeth River with fewer bridge openings and road traffic stoppages, which will help relieve congestion on U.S. 13 and I-64. The new bridge will be wider to accommodate the future widening of Military Highway from four lanes to six.
"This bridge will be built to accommodate the future needs of the region," Mendez said. "Virginians are closer to having a new bridge that will make it easier for workers to get to their jobs and for businesses to deliver their goods and products."
The bridge is being built with prefabricated bridge parts to accelerate construction by building the center span off-site and then placing it onto the bridge.
The total cost of the project is $134 million, including $113 million in federal-aid funding.