Virginia Kicks I-95 Bridge Repairs into Gear
Governor Bob McDonnell announced that the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) awarded a contract today valued at approximately $68 million for restoration of 11 bridges along the Interstate 95 corridor in Richmond. The contract advances a long-awaited rehabilitation of major I-95 bridges.
Speaking about the contract, Governor McDonnell noted, â€œOur investments in transportation continue to have significant impacts. This project will help ensure that traffic can move safely and efficiently through the Commonwealth for decades to come, and improve the quality of life for all who live, work and travel through Virginia.â€
Archer Western Contractors of Atlanta, Georgia was awarded the contract to restore 11 bridges and overpasses in Richmond along the east coastâ€™s most heavily traveled north/south highway, I-95. The project will involve replacing bridges along a seven-mile stretch of I-95 between Lombardy Street in the city of Richmond and Upham Brook in Henrico County. Construction will begin in the fall and is expected to be complete in 2014.
The following bridges will be restored:
Lombardy Street/CSX railroad
Robin Hood Road
I-95 over the Boulevard
Ramp over the Boulevard
Upham Brook northbound (Henrico)
Upham Brook southbound
Reducing Driver Impacts
The four-year project will be completed in multiple phases. The first two years of the project will involve repair and restoration activities under each bridge. This will result in periodic, overnight lane closures and detours on Richmond city streets.
Beginning in 2012, contractors will replace each bridge span with a new, prefabricated section. This will involve scheduled traffic pattern shifts and overnight lane closures along I-95. To avoid major traffic disruptions, I-95 construction will occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
During overnight construction on I-95, VDOT will maintain one travel lane in each direction and one emergency vehicle lane. Crews will remove and replace segments of bridges in overnight hours, and will return the bridges to full operation before morning rush hour each day. Daytime travelers along I-95 will continue to have all lanes of travel available.
â€œVDOT is committed to keeping traffic moving through Richmond for the duration of this project,â€ said VDOT Richmond District Administrator, Tom Hawthorne. â€œWe will use a variety of methods such as 511, electronic message boards, highway advisory radio, local media and the Internet to keep travelers informed of all planned activities and traffic impacts from this work.â€
The bridge restorations will not only improve the safety for drivers using these critical structures along the I-95 corridor, but the construction project will also result in a significant economic benefit to the region. According to a 2010 economic impact study conducted by Chmura Economics and Analytics, the project is expected to:
Generate a one-time economic impact to Richmond and Henrico County of up to $166 million when project contractors and their sub-contractors patronize area businesses
Bring approximately 150 jobs each year to the region as a direct result of the construction for a total of more than 500 jobs. An additional 100 jobs are expected per year as an economic ripple effect.
Extend the lifespan of the bridges for 50 to 75 years. In that timeframe, the total maintenance cost savings for VDOT could reach nearly $10 million.
Generate $2.3 million in tax revenue for the commonwealth during construction and fiscal benefits for local governments of $200,000 from 2010 to 2014.
In 1999, VDOT restored two of 13 bridges along I-95 as part of an initiative to improve bridge integrity along the corridorâ€”the James River and Broad Street bridges. Routine maintenance and repairs continued on the remaining 11 bridges while funds accumulated for the project. The project is fully funded in the Fiscal Years 2011-2016 Six-Year Improvement Program using a combination of federal and state transportation funds.
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