Lesner Bridge Replacement

Rendering of the Completed Lesner Bridge Structure

Construction Cam​​era

A construction camera​ has been installed to view images of the bridge construction.  Images are updated on the hour.​

June 15, 2016 Update​​

To All:

Yes – that small gap in the center of the new westbound Lesner Bridge is exactly as designed.

On Monday, June 13th, 2016, the last pre-cast concrete segment in the center span of the new westbound Lesner Bridge was set and post-tensioned in place.  The remaining 2-foot wide gap is known as the Main Span Closure Segment and will be formed and cast-in-place early next week during the night when the surrounding concrete is at a minimum thermal gradient.  The placement of the Main Span Closure concrete will complete the most challenging portion of the bridge construction – building both cantilever sections of the 225’ wide main bridge span; one from the west and one from the east and having them both meet in the middle where they’re supposed to be.  Hats off to the FIGG Bridge designers and the precise work of McLean Contracting Company!

While crews work on finishing the main bridge span (setting formwork, placing rebar, installing continuity tendons across the main span, and tendon grouting), the gantry crane will be moved off of the cantilever and to span 7 (of 10).  Once the gantry is moved to Span 7, the contractor will begin work on setting the segments atop Pier column #7 while post-tensioning work is being finished in the main span (#5).

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Span 5 of the new Westbound Lesner Bridge - where the east and west cantilever sections of the Bridge meet

Now, a brief summary of work that we have completed since the last project update (3/29/2016):​
  • ​​​Cantilever Span 5B of the new westbound Lesner Bridge has been completed; 
  • The falsework at pier #6 has been installed at Pier #7 in preparation for the next gantry launch; 
  • The construction of pier columns #9 has been completed; 
  • We completed segment casting for spans 8, 9 and most of 10 (four segments remaining); 
  • Streetlight pilasters have been completed at pier columns 1 and 2; 
  • Preliminary pavement planning was completed on Spans 1, 2, and 3; 
  • Base and intermediate asphalt has been placed at the new bridge approaches.
Construction of the new westbound Lesner Bridge substructure (foundations, footings, and piers) is now complete.   Completion of the bridge’s superstructure is estimated for September 2016 with a partial (westbound traffic) traffic switch to the new bridge late September 2016 or early October 2016.

AMI, Inc. in Portsmouth, continues to build the superstructure of the new Lesner Bridge.  A total of 164 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 #7 and set the pier segments on pier column #7;
  • Deliver (via barge) the Pier #7 bridge segments and install on Pier column #7; 
  • Cast-in-place the Main Spain Closure segment in Span #5;
  • Install and post-tension the main span continuity tendons; ​ 
  • Install temporary trench drains along the north side of each bridge approach.​
That's it 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. 

Work Description

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.​​​​​​