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.​

November 22, 2017 Update  

It’s been a while since the last update on the project and some of you have asked why it seems that we have stopped construction of the bridge superstructure over the inlet channel.  The answer is we cannot launch the gantry across the channel to complete construction of the center span until we complete construction of Pier #5.  The construction of pier 5 was delayed over the summer due to an issue with one of the 10 drilled shafts installed for this foundation.  This shaft was completed this past Saturday 11/18/2017 and work is currently under way to prepare the formwork for the footing of this pier.

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 (recently completed) 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.  So for the next two months expect see a lot of activity in the area of Pier #5 (east side of the channel).


Completed Drilled Shafts at Pier #5 EB Bridge (Completed Pier Column #6 shown in the Background)​.

View looking WNW at Caontilever A of Span 5 of the new EB Lesner Bridge. 

Although the construction of Pier #5 was delayed, other bridge work continued and a lot has been done since the last update.  Since our last project update in September the following work has been completed:  ​

      • ​​​Span #4 (of 10) and 4 segments of cantilever Span #5 have been constructed for the new EB bridge;​ 
      • Drilled Shaft foundations at Pier #5 have been completed; 
      • The footing and column at Pier #6 have been completed; 
      • The footing at Pier #7 has been completed; 
      • All four drilled shafts at Pier #8 have been installed; 
      • Two of the four drilled shafts at Pier #9 have been installed; 
      • Two of the three concrete placements for bridge Abutment B have been completed; 
      • The new bridge fender system beneath the new eastbound bridge has been completed (only four piles remain to be installed between the two new bridges); 
      • Construction of the bridge approach slab on the west side of the bridge has been completed;​ 
      • The storm drain system on the eastern bridge approach has been completed;​​​​​ 
      • The storm drain system on the western bridge approach has been completed (tie-in to existing stormwater drainage system at East Stratford Street currently under way);
      • The retaining wall, including scenic overlook area, along Piedmont Circle and next to American Brew and the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp Office has been completed;​​
      • Two of the four new street lights on the western bridge approach have been installed; 
      • ​All casting of bridge segments have been completed for the project by Atlantic Metrocast in Portsmouth, VA; 


​​Partially Completed Abutment B EB Bridge.  Forms are being removed. 

Completed Footing at Pier #7 new EB Bridge. ​

Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will: 
      • ​​Complete drilled shaft foundations at Pier #9 (this will complete all drilled shaft installation on the project); 
      • Set formwork and chip drilled shafts to specified elevation at Pier #5; 
      • Place column at Pier #7; 
      • Complete MSE wall #5 located in front of the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Association; 
      • Work on setting 4 more segments in Span #5; 
      • Complete curbing along MSE wall #2 located next to the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp Office; 

​​​That’s it for now.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and 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.​​​​​​