Enlightened Lesner Bridge Fans and Scholars:
As always, the summer seems to fly by much too fast. This has been a great one, so soak it up and enjoy the remaining time – I’m already looking forward to next summer, skeeters and all.
Despite the heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and the threat of lightning, Lesner Bridge Replacement Project Manager and bridge guru Chris Wojtowicz – “Mr. Bridge” to his bridge groupies – has sent me the latest in bridge project news and updates. Work at the bridge is picking up momentum and things are changing weekly. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out what is going on there, please do so. There’s no charge to watch, and it is really quite impressive.
Below is the latest collection of news and snappy photos. 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 at YouTube here].
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 patience throughout this project. Enjoy these last dog days of summer weather, and stay safe.
Media and Communications
Department of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach
“When are they going to install the first bridge segment?” That is the million dollar question that many are asking now that the assembly of the launching gantry is complete. The answer is . . . . sometime the week of August 17th. The gantry is currently being load tested and certified for lifting the bridge segments and should be ready to pick the first bridge segment next week.
All of the bridge segments for the first span have been delivered to the project site and are being stored in the laydown yard behind the Lynnhaven Boat Ramps. You can see some of them from the Construction Camera. They are located on the extreme right of the frame beneath the unloader gantry crane and behind the field offices. McLean will transport these segments from the laydown yard to the beach beneath the launching gantry once load testing and certification is complete. From the Construction Sequence Animation you will see that McLean will first set the segment on the bridge abutment and then set the two pier segments at Pier #1.
Once these segments are anchored in place, the launching gantry will lift all the remaining segments for the span into position. One by one, each segment face will get a coating of epoxy and then be pulled together using temporary post-tensioning bars. The span will be complete once all of the permanent post tensioning tendons (10 total; six 27-strand and four 19-strand) for span one of the bridge are installed, post-tensioned, and grouted. The launching gantry will then move to span 2.
19-Strand Grouted Tendon Cross Section
Foundation work continues ahead of the launching gantry and segment installation preparation. Reinforcing steel is currently being placed for the footing at Pier 4 in preparation for concrete placement this Friday August 14th. The seal slab for Pier #5 has been poured and is currently curing. All of the drilled shaft foundations for Piers 6 and 7 have been installed. Drilled shaft installation at Pier 8 continues this week and is expected to be completed by August 20th.
The first of three concrete pours at Abutment B (next to the former Duck Inn property) took place on August 3rd. The second concrete placement at Abutment B will take place this Friday, August 14th. The contractor has also completed the installation of the top coping along the entire length of the MSE retaining wall next to 3556 On The Bay condominiums, and has also begun applying the bridge coating material on the MSE wall panels.
Reinforcing Steel Being Placed in the Footing at Pier 4
For those of you who are curious about what the handrail on the new bridge will look like, a full scale mock-up of a typical rail panel was fabricated and assembled in the laydown area (see photo below). This railing is a custom rail fabricated out of aluminum and is powder coated blue. The rail is 42-inches high and will be installed across the new bridge and on top of the MSE retaining walls.
Pedestrian Handrail Mock-up.
AMI, Inc in Portsmouth, continues to build the new bridge segments. A total of 64 of the 177 bridge segments have been cast and is enough to complete 4 of the 10 spans in the westbound bridge.
Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:
Ø Begin placing bridge segments in span 1 of 10
Ø Install the column for Pier #4;
Ø Mobilize the seal slab for Pier #5;
Ø Complete the drilled foundation work at Pier #8;
Ø Begin drilling the foundations for the last bridge pier; Pier #9
Ø Complete construction of Abutment B;
Ø Complete the coating of MSE wall #1
Now get ready to see the launching gantry lift some bridge segments . . . it really IS something!
Keep watching and drive safely!
Christopher J. Wojtowicz, P.E.
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
Municipal Center-Bldg 2
2405 Court House Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9031
Phone: (757) 385-5785
Fax: (757) 385-5668