Rendering of the Completed Lesner Bridge Structure
A Construction Camera has been installed to view images of the bridge construction. Images are updated on the hour.
February 10, 2016 Update
As winter begins to remake its cold presence felt, the bridge contractor is about to reach mid-span of the new westbound Lesner Bridge. But before we discuss the upcoming work, I want to mention what has been completed since the December update:
- Span 3 (of 10) of the new westbound Lesner Bridge was completed in early January 2016;
- The gantry crane has been launched to span 4 and is currently being loaded with the pre-cast concrete segments for span 4;
- The footings and columns for piers 5 and 6 have been completed;
- The 36-inch storm drain that crossed Cape Henry Drive in the area located just east of Bubba’s Restaurant was installed;
- The mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall located along the former Duck Inn property was completed; and
- We completed conduit and duct installation on the east side of the bridge behind Abutment B.
Completed Spans 1, 2, and 3 of the new Westbound Lesner Bridge
The wet, cool, and windy weather is slowing our progress since we need the mating surfaces of the concrete segments to be dry and at or above 40° F in order for us to apply the water sealing epoxy prior to joining the segments together.
Wind is the other constraint that we have in operating the gantry crane and it cannot be operated when the wind is gusting above 30 MPH. Winter work next to Chesapeake Bay and over Lynnhaven Inlet has been a challenge for us these last several weeks. Span 4 of the new westbound bridge was scheduled to be completed by 1/20/2016, but the various winter weather events and the upcoming cold and windy forecast have caused that schedule to slip at least until 2/19/2016. Considering this current delay, the new westbound bridge is now expected to be complete by August 2016, and the traffic switch moved to the new bridge sometime in September 2016. The contractor is now making Saturdays and some Sundays regular work days in an effort to make up some of this lost schedule.
Completed Column and Footing for Piers 4 (Background), 5 (Formwork still attached), and 6 (Foreground)
Although critical construction work has slowed on the bridge superstructure, other non-critical work on the bridge substructure continues. The steel reinforcement for pier column 7 has been tied is being readied for placement on the recently completed footing. The column formwork has been removed from pier column 5 and will be moved to pier 7 to form up the new column.
At the same time, all of the epoxy coating on the completed footing at pier 9 has been applied and all of the shoring removed and re-installed at pier 8. Excavation for the footing at pier 8 continues and will be completed this week. By 2/12/2016, we expect to have the column for pier 7 fully formed and the footing for pier 8 excavated, the drilled shaft foundations cut down to plan elevations, and footing formwork installed.
Typical Segments Being Positioned at Pier Column 4
We are also aware of several potholes that have formed on the east side of the bridge along the westbound lanes between the bridge and Page Avenue. We expect to have them filled before the end of the week. Many of you have also phoned and emailed about our construction camera being down. For a variety of reasons, this camera has been offline more often than not. The camera is working now and we hope that we have corrected the operating issues.
We have also installed a second camera
on the east side of the inlet to better document our work as the bridge construction continues to progress to the east side of the inlet. This second camera is available from the same internet link as the original one provided at the beginning of this page. If that link does not work, please try http://www.workzonecam.com/projects/rshcs Thank you for alerting us to this issue.
Utility Conduits Being Installed Inside the Westbound Lesner Bridge
Utility installation inside the completed bridge spans has also begun. This work will continue and will be timed such that as the last span of the bridge is completed, the internal utility installation will also be near completion. This work is critical in relocating the various utilities from the existing bridges to the new westbound bridge within an acceptable timeframe so as to not delay the start of the old bridge demolition and new eastbound bridge construction.
AMI, Inc. in Portsmouth, continues to build the new westbound bridge segments. A total of 115 of the 168 bridge segments have been cast.
**A word of driver caution: As we deliver the segments to the project site or to the gantry, Virginia Beach Police will temporarily stop traffic at the Shore Drive/East Stratford Street Intersection for a few minutes to assist the segment delivery trucks in safely crossing this intersection. These deliveries are not on a set schedule, but will generally occur between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 pm M-F and on some Saturdays, so please be careful as you approach this intersection.**
Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:
- Deliver and load the gantry with the remaining span 4 bridge segments
- Install the temporary post-tensioning bars and epoxy the span 4 segments
- Install and post-tension the permanent tendons through the bridge segments in span 4 of 10 of the westbound bridge
- Form and place the concrete in the column for Pier #7
- Form and place the concrete in the footing for Pier #8
- Install various utilities inside the completed sections of the westbound bridge
- Install the new storm drain structures along East Stratford Street on the north side of Shore Drive.
That’s all for now. Please drive safely!
This project first appeared in the FY 2002-03 CIP and is included in the Governor’s Transportation Plan. Lesner bridge was identified for replacement through the City’s bridge condition inventory and the Shore Drive Transportation Study. In VDOT’s final FY2014 six-year plan, the State shifted prior VDOT funding to out years, but requested the City maintain the prior schedule. The City Council approved substitution of contractual obligation debt on August 13, 2013 so the project could be bid for construction, with agreement that VDOT would provide $10,453,200 in FY 2014-15, $13,000,000 in FY 2016-17, and $14,220,117 in FY 2017-18 and the local debt would be decreased in those years accordingly. Bid were opened on December 21, 2013 and the construction contract executed with McLean Construction on April 28, 2014. The Notice to Proceed for construction was issued for June 2, 2014.
This project will replace the existing Lesner Bridge with a signature facility that is capable of handling six lanes of traffic in the future. The replacement bridge structure will be striped for two lanes of traffic and wide shoulders. The inside lane will be 12 feet wide and the inside shoulder will be 6 feet wide. The outside lane will be 14 feet wide and the outside shoulder will be 8 feet wide. Each bridge will also have a 10 foot wide multi-use path for use by pedestrians and recreational cyclists. The proposed bridge will be designed to provide minimum 45 feet vertical clearance above mean high water and 225 feet minimum horizontal clearance at center navigation channel span. This project also includes upgrades to the intersections of East Stratford Street and Vista Circle (the termini for the project), as well as aesthetic upgrades within the project limits.
McLean Construction, Inc. began the project June 2, 2014.
As a reminder, the sidewalk on westbound Shore Drive is closed to pedestrians and cyclists between Page Avenue and East Stratford Street. If pedestrians need to cross the bridge, they will need to cross the eastbound bridge where a temporary 4-foot wide pedestrian/cyclist access has been provided.
Additional information is available on the Lesner Bridge Project Detail Sheet
Select Lesner Bridge Replacement Project Archive
to view past updates for this project.