#LESNERBRIDGE update from Project Manager: “…the moving of the westbound Shore Drive traffic to the new westbound bridge will take place sometime during the week of October 24th.”

October 3rd 2016:

Waterlogged Residents and Fans of All Things Structural:

Now that the beastly hot days of summer have passed – I miss them already – we can look forward to crisp autumn days, football, and the pain and suffering that comes with raking fallen leaves that never ends . . . .

As you drive past the Lesner Bridge Replacement Project, you probably marvel at the changes and progress that has been made with this grand structure. You may ask yourself: “Can we expect more?”

You’re daggone right, you can . . . and thanks for asking.

According to the sage of bridges . . . the Kingfish of Structures – project manager Chris Wojtowicz – not only have they made quite a bit of progress, but “the moving of the westbound Shore Drive traffic to the new westbound bridge will take place sometime during the week of October 24th.”

But I shouldn’t spoil everything . . . . Better you hear it from someone who actually knows what he’s talking about – the Kingfish himself.

Below is our latest collection of facts and figures and snappy photos – updated for your reading pleasure – that will update you on the LB progress. Don’t skip a word of it and ponder it all.

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVkeFJWm85s

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. So . . . enjoy this weather, look out for each other, and put the phone down while you’re driving.

Drew Lankford
Media and Communications
Department of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach

(O) 757.385.8062
(C) 757.409.4353


To All:

On September 1st, the post-tensioning and grouting of the tendons for Span 10 of the new westbound bridge was completed, thus completing the last remaining span of the bridge. Since completing this span, crews have been busy both inside and outside the bridge completing other elements of the bridge’s superstructure in preparation for moving the westbound traffic off of Shore Drive from the old bridge to the new bridge.

Since the completion of the last bridge span, utility crews have been working inside the superstructure to complete construction of the new 16-inch water main, the bridge lighting conduit system, and all of the conduit systems required for the private utility companies to relocate their existing utilities from the old bridges to the new bridge.

Completed Bridge Conduit and Other Utilities Inside the New Westbound Lesner Bridge

Completed Bridge Conduit and Other Utilities Inside the New Westbound Lesner Bridge

Up on top of the bridge, crews are slowly back launching the gantry to the west and back to Span 1 where the temporary falsework has been constructed for the long term storage of this equipment. The gantry is currently located on Span 3 and will likely be launched to Span 2 by Wednesday October 5th. It is likely that crews will temporarily lock down the gantry in this location until Hurricane Matthew safely passes the Hampton Roads area. The back launch of the gantry will resume on or after October 11th.

Other critical work required to ready the bridge for the upcoming traffic switch is taking place concurrently with the gantry move and utility work. The expansion joints at each end of the bridge are being readied for installation. The first expansion joint will be installed at Abutment A – located on the west side of the bridge. Installation work for both expansion joints will be completed by the week of October 17th.

Area between abutment and bridge deck being prepared for expansion joint installation

Area between abutment and bridge deck being prepared for expansion joint installation

Workers are also preparing the temporary pedestrian path along the north side of the new bridge. Concrete parapet wall and the new decorative handrail are currently being installed along the northern edge of the bridge and approaches between East Stratford Street and Page Avenue. Temporary barrier service and safety screening (galvanized chain link fence) is also being installed across the new bridge and all the way down each bridge approach to the intersections.

The area between (~4 feet) the parapet/handrailing and this temporary barrier service/safety screen will serve as the temporary pedestrian access and will be the only pedestrian access across the Lynnhaven Inlet once both old bridges are demolished during the next phase (4).

Coating of the Bridge Superstructure

Coating of the Bridge Superstructure

Construction access ports and miscellaneous deck penetrations are being permanently sealed ahead of the scheduled pavement planing and grooving. Planing and grooving of the new bridge deck is currently scheduled for the week of October 10th and is expected to be completed by October 16th.

Since the last project update (8/18/2016), the following work has been completed:

Bridge conduit systems have been completed though the new westbound bridge;
The new 16-inch water main has been completed up to Span 10;
Back-launched the gantry from span 10 to Span 3;
Finished handrail installation along the bridge up to Span 3;
Installed temporary barrier service (for pedestrian access) along the north side of the new bridge between East Stratford Street and Span 7 of the bridge;
Installation of pullboxes and controller cabinet foundation for the new traffic signal at the Shore Drive/Page Avenue intersection;
Installation of the new traffic signal pole foundation on the west side of Page Avenue;
Installation of street light pilasters up to bridge Span 7

AMI, Inc. in Portsmouth, continues to build pre-cast concrete segments for the superstructure of the new Eastbound Lesner Bridge. A total of 44 of the 168 bridge segments have been cast for the new eastbound bridge.

Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:

Complete the falsework located on the northwest side of the bridge;
Side-launch the gantry off of the new westbound bridge and onto the falsework for long term storage (~ 6 months);
Complete installation of both bridge expansion joints;
Grind and groove bridge deck between Spans 1 and 10;
Coat/paint the bridge barrier walls and parapets;
Install parapets and barrier wall along bridge Spans 4 through 10;
Complete handrail installation along the bridge;
Complete installation of 16-inch watermain inside the bridge;
Complete utility installation and rough grading for the upcoming lane shifts near the intersections of Shore Drive/East Stratford Street and Shore Drive/Page Avenue.

At this time . . . . we expect that the moving of the westbound Shore Drive traffic to the new westbound bridge will take place sometime during the week of October 24th.

Within the next week we will place variable message boards along Shore Drive, both eastbound and westbound, to alert drivers of this upcoming traffic shift. ONLY THE WESTBOUND TRAFFIC WILL BE MOVED AT THIS TIME. The eastbound traffic will continue to use the old bridge just as they do today.

After we have graded, paved and marked the transitions in the old median and westbound lanes, we will then move the eastbound traffic to the new bridge. This second traffic shift of the eastbound Shore Drive traffic will likely take place in early December.

Stay tuned!

– Chris

Christopher J. Wojtowicz, PE
Project Manager
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
Engineering Division
2405 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9031
Office: (757) 385-5785
Fax: (757) 385-5668
Email: cwojtowi@vbgov.com

Screen shot of Construction Cam westbound view taken 7am October 3rd 2016

Screen shot of Construction Cam westbound view taken 7am October 3rd 2016


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