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.​

February 2, 2018 Update  


In the last project update (11/22/2017) we mentioned that we had issues with one of the 10 drilled shaft foundations for Pier #5 of the new eastbound bridge.  Between the holidays, cold weather, and a longer than expected  duration for remediation of drilled shaft #1 at Pier #5, construction of the EB bridge superstructure had been temporarily suspended.  That was the bad news.
Now, the good news.  Shaft #1 at Pier #5 has been fully remediated, all 10 drilled shafts in this footing have been cut down to the correct elevation, and all of the reinforcing steel for the footing has been placed.  The footing is now ready to receive the 400 cubic yards of concrete which is planned for tomorrow, February 3rd, 2018.  The concrete will be delivered to this footing via two concrete pumper trucks parked near the center span of the Lesner Bridge eastbound lanes.

This, unfortunately, means lane closures on Lesner Bridge for most of the day tomorrow, Saturday February 3, 2018. Here are the details:
Beginning tomorrow, 2/3/2018 at approximately 10:00 AM single lane closures will be setup on Shore Drive approaching eastbound Lesner Bridge between DuPont Circle and Vista Circle.  Single lane closures will also be setup during this time for westbound Shore Drive traffic approaching Lesner Bridge between Page Avenue and East Stratford Street.  BOTH EASTBOUND AND WESTBOUND TRAFFIC CROSSING THE BRIDGE WILL BE REDUCED TO A SINGLE LANE IN EACH DIRECTION.  BOTH eastbound lanes on Lesner Bridge will be CLOSED until the concrete placement operations are completed.  All work and temporary lane closures on Shore Drive at Lesner Bridge are expected to be cleared by 10:00 PM Saturday night, February 3rd, 2018.  Be advised that, in addition to the lane reductions on the bridge, there will also be flaggers present that will intermittently STOP all traffic in BOTH directions on the bridge to allow the arrival and departure of concrete delivery trucks.​

There will be a lot of activity on the bridge tomorrow so please plan accordingly and DRIVE SLOWLY when crossing the bridge. 

Once Pier #5 is complete, we will launch the gantry across the inlet, set the pier segments on Pier #5 and then launch to Pier #6 and set the pier segments on Pier column #6.  Span #6 will then be assembled by picking segments off a barge moored in this location.  After Span #6 is completed, the gantry will be back-launched toward the channel to complete the other half of the cantilever section of Span #5 that crosses the channel. 

Footing Reinforcing Steel being placed at Pier #5 EB Bridge (Completed Pier Column #6 shown in the background)

​​View looking East form East Stratford Street at the recently graded area for the 10-foot wide multi-use path that will cross the new EB Bridge

Since the last update other work on the project continued while waiting for Pier #5 to be completed.  The following work has been completed since the November 22, 2017 update:
      • ​​4 additional segments of cantilever Span #5 have been constructed for the new EB bridge (8 total); 
      • The footing and column at Pier #7 have been completed; 
      • The cofferdam around the footing for Pier #8 has been installed and the and the area around the drilled shafts excavated;
      • All four drilled shafts at Pier #9 have been installed (ALL DRILLED SHAFT INSTALLATION FOR THE PROJECT IS NOW COMPLETE); 
      • Abutment B for the EB bridge has been completed; 
      • Grading for the new 10-foot wide multi-use path between the new EB Bridge and East Stratford Street has been completed; 
      • The remaining two street lights (four total) on the western bridge approach have been installed. ​

Completed Abutment B EB Bridge.  Forms being removed.

Completed Footing and Column at Pier #7 new EB Bridge (Forms shown being removed).

Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:​
      • ​​Complete the footing and column at Pier #5; 
      • Place reinforcement steel for the footing at Pier #8; 
      • Backfill Abutment B and complete MSE wall #5 located in front of the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Association; 
      • Install falsework for gantry launch at Pier #5; 
      • Complete concrete multi-use path along MSE wall #2 between East Stratford and the new EB Bridge; and 
      • Complete curb & gutter and median curb on the west side of the bridge between East Stratford Street and the new EB Bridge. 
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 recrea​tional 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.

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.​​​​​​