June 14th 2016 update:
Aficionados of Bridges, Roads and Beaches:
No chit chat about ice on the roads and salt and sand and that nasty wind whipping off the bay today . . . No sir-eeee . . . you can toss that talk! Now it’s nothing but thoughts of heat and sand and sun and heat and swimming pools and heat and cocoa butter and more heat!! Just soak it up and savor the summer days living in Virginia Beach.
Progress on the Lesner Bridge Replacement Project is moving onward, and I’m sure most of you can see the progress almost on a daily basis.
Below is the latest collection of facts and figures and snappy photos – updated for your reading pleasure – from Chris Wojtowicz, engineer, project manager and smarty pants about all things related to bridges. You’ll want to be sure and add this update to your paperbacks and magazines for great reading while on the beach or sailing on the bay.
Feel free to let Chris or me know if you have any questions or need more information. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch this construction sequence animation, please check it out.
As a reminder, we are regularly updating information on our WEB page at: http://www.vbgov.com/lesner-bridge. You can also follow us on Twitter at: @lesnerbridge.
If you know of someone who would like to be added to our update list, please have them get in touch with me at this e-mail address and I will be glad to add them. Please feel free to pass this along to others.
Thanks again for all of your interest and patience throughout this project. Enjoy the summer weather, fire up the grill, and avoid those skeeters . . . AND STAY COOL AND SAFE!
Media and Communications
Department of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach
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).
Now, a brief summary of work that we have completed since the last project update (3/29/2016):
Ø Cantilever Span 5B of the new westbound Lesner Bridge has been completed;
Ø The falsework at pier #6 has been installed at Pier #7 in preparation for the next gantry launch;
Ø The construction of pier columns #9 has been completed;
Ø We completed segment casting for spans 8, 9 and most of 10 (four segments remaining);
Ø Streetlight pilasters have been completed at pier columns 1 and 2;
Ø Preliminary pavement planning was completed on Spans 1, 2, and 3;
Ø 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:
Ø Launch the gantry to span #7 and set the pier segments on pier column #7;
Ø Deliver (via barge) the Pier #7 bridge segments and install on Pier column #7
Ø Cast-in-place the Main Spain Closure segment in Span #5;
Ø Install and post-tension the main span continuity tendons;
Ø Install temporary trench drains along the north side of each bridge approach.
That’s it for now. Please drive safely!
Christopher J. Wojtowicz, PE
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
2405 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9031
Office: (757) 385-5785
Fax: (757) 385-5668
The 1,575 ft long 84,530 SF four lane Lesner bridge replacement at $115 million (or $1,360 per square foot) is much in excess of equivalent bridge costs. The completion date, June 2017 has become impossible to reach with the first of two bridges taking two and a half years which puts a realistic completion date two years past June 2017. Will the contractor be asking for more money and why isn’t this delay being brought to light? A post-tensioned bridge is much more expensive than a traditional bridge and takes much longer to complete. Federal highway funds are given to the states for use at the state’s discretion. So how did we get to this point where Virginia is wasting it’s vital federal funds on “Cadillac” projects?
Note: If a boat rams a section of the bridge, how in the world can it be repaired without tearing a large portion of it apart?