April 6, 2017 Update
Since the last project update in December much has changed on the Lesner Bridge crossing Lynnhaven Inlet! On the evening of January 17th, 2017 the eastbound lanes of Shore Drive traffic were switched over to the new westbound Lesner Bridge thus completing Phase 3 of 5 on the project and preparing the way for the demolition of the old Lesner Bridges and the construction of the new eastbound Lesner Bridge. Demolition of both old bridges began on January 25th, 2017 and continues today. Contrary to what some folks believed, NO BLASTING will be used to in the demolition of the old bridges. In fact, the decks of the bridges have been strategically cut to allow each beam of each span to be removed individually. Most of the removed beams with attached deck will be transferred to barges for disposal at Cabbage Patch Reef located off the shoreline of Kiptopeke State Park. Some of the removed degraded beams were chosen by Virginia Tech to be saved and transported to Blacksburg for strength testing – but that is another story. The remaining piles of the bridge are cut off 4-feet below the ground surface if they are on land or are vibrated out if they are located within the water.
We are not waiting for the old bridges to be completely removed before beginning construction of the new bridge. All of the foundation piles from bridge abutment A (west side of the Lynnhaven) have been installed and the first of three concrete pours for the footing was completed on 3/28/2017. The four drilled shaft foundations for Pier column #1 were completed today, March 30th and over the weekend crews will move drilling equipment over to the cofferdam already installed for Pier column #2.
In summary, the following work has been completed since the last project update (12/21/2016):
All Shore Drive traffic moved to the new westbound Lesner Bridge;
Approximately 40% of the old Lesner Bridges have been demolished;
All wick drains located at both bridge abutments have been installed;
All of the remaining piles for Abutment A have been driven;
The footing for Abutment A has been completed;
The steel reinforcing for the segment pedestal and backwall at Abutment A has been installed;
All four drilled shafts for Pier Column #1 have been installed;
Retaining walls for new sidewalk installed along the southeast corner of East Stratford Street and Shore Drive.
AMI, Inc. in Portsmouth, continues to build the superstructure of the new Lesner Bridge. A total of 102 of the 168 segments have been cast for the new eastbound bridge. It is expected that all bridge segments for the eastbound bridge will be cast by August 2017.
Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:
Continue Bridge Demolition;
Install the drilled shaft foundations at Pier #2;
Complete the construction of Abutment A;
Continue filling and grading operations at the new bridge abutments;
Install the new traffic signal pole and foundation on the southeast corner of Shore Drive and East Stratford Street;
Begin excavation for the leveling pad of the new MSE wall along the south side of Shore Drive between East Stratford Street and the new bridge;
Begin installation of the steel falsework between Abutment A and Pier #1 to support the segment assembly gantry crane.
That’s it for now. Please drive safely!