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.
March 23, 2016 Update
“In like a Lion, out like a Lamb”, this March is certainly living up to that saying.
The Lesner Bridge project team loves the “Lamb” and the warmer weather that is beginning to work its way into Virginia Beach. It’s a welcome change to the cold, wet and windy February that we experienced.
Many of you have noticed something different about the bridge construction recently – only half of a bridge span was constructed before the gantry crane was moved and is now resting on what appears to an unsupported (floating) extension of the bridge superstructure. You can see this this step in the construction sequence animation at about 2:08 minutes in. Although this looks odd, we can assure you that the bridge has been designed specifically for this point in construction.
We are now working on Span 5 (of 10) on the new westbound Lesner Bridge. This particular span is 225 feet long and is the main center span of the bridge. All other spans of the bridge are 150 feet wide and can be built entirely beneath the gantry (span by span construction). Since the main span is greater than 150 feet, the gantry crane cannot use the span by span construction method and instead must use the cantilever method. The additional strength needed to support this cantilevered section of bridge is provided by additional internal tendons located inside the top deck of bridge spans 4, 5, and 6 as well as temporary external tendons located inside the box girders of spans 4, 5, and 6. The top deck tendons (cantilever tendons) are snaked through the main span segments, through the adjacent pier segments, and anchored into subsequent typical segments in span 4 (or span 6 if on the east side of the channel).
Internal Tendons (inside blue stressing jack) inside top deck of Span 5 of the new Westbound Lesner Bridge
Internal Tendon Anchorages (top corner areas) inside Stan 4 of the new Westbound Lesner Bridge
Temporary External Tendons (black pipe) inside Span 5 if the new Westbound Lesner Bridge
Span 5 will be built in two sections; 5A (west of channel and built from west to east) and 5B (east of channel and built from east to west). The construction of span 5A has been completed and the gantry is currently being readied for a launch over to the steel falsework located at pier #5 (east side of the channel).
The construction of span 5B gets a little tricky since we have to balance the construction loads at pier #5 in order to prevent damage and/or failure of this new pier column. To accomplish this, we are going to build span #6 (150 feet wide and located between piers #5 and #6) prior to completing span 5B. Once span #6 is anchored (via tendons) to the two piers, this span will serve as a counterweight to balance the load that span 5B will place on the column at pier #5. Therefore, over the next 5 weeks you will see the following work taking place on the bridge superstructure:
- Both pier segments placed on top of pier column #5
- The steel falsework moved from pier #5 to pier #6
- The gantry launched from pier #5 to pier #6
- Both pier segments placed on top of pier column #6
- Typical segments for span #6 delivered by barge
- Gantry will lift typical segments from the barge and set them into place for span #6
- Gantry will backlaunch (from east to west) to span #5
- Span #5 bridge segments will be delivered by truck to the gantry and will be assembled in span 5B from east to west
- The main span closure (bridge center) will be cast in place and continuity tendons installed to join spans 5A and 5B
- Gantry will be launched to span #7
Yes, it’s complicated. With all these additional steps the work may seem like it’s slowing down but we can assure you that progress is being made on these critical path tasks.
Now, a brief summary of work that we have completed since the last project update (2/10/2016):
- Span 4 and 5A (of 10) of the new westbound Lesner Bridge has been completed
- The falsework at pier #5 has been installed in preparation for the next gantry launch
- The footing for pier 8 has been completed, thus completing all of the bridge footings for the westbound bridge
- The construction of pier columns #7 and #8 have been completed
- The steel reinforcing for pier column #9 has been tied and is being readied for concrete placement. This is the last pier column for the westbound bridge;
- We completed segment casting for spans 7 and most of 8
- Both storm drain structures have been installed on the east side of East Stratford Street north of Shore Drive
- The parapet wall and handrail anchor bolts have been installed on the MSE wall in front of 3556 On the Bay Condominiums and across spans 1,2, and 3
- The permanent barrier wall along the south side of the new westbound Lesner Bridge has been installed up to span 3, and
- Approximately 300 feet of conduit and water main has been installed inside the new bridge
Water Main, Power, and Communications Conduit inside the new Westbound Lesner Bridge
Completed Bridge Spans 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5A Cantilever of the new Westbound Lesner Bridge
With the exception of pier column #9, the construction of all of the new westbound bridge substructure has been completed including all of the drilled shaft foundations and pier footings. As we have mentioned earlier, erection of the bridges superstructure continues with an expected bridge completion date in September 2016.
AMI, Inc. in Portsmouth, continues to build the superstructure of the new Lesner Bridge. A total of 134 of the 168 bridge segments have been cast for the new westbound bridge.
Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:
- Launch the gantry to span #6 and set the pier segments on pier columns #5 and #6
- Form and place the concrete in the column for Pier #9 (this is the last remaining column to be constructed for the westbound bridge)
- Install various utilities inside the completed sections of the westbound bridge
- Install the new storm drain pipe along the east side of 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.