#LESNERBRIDGE update from Project Manager: “noting that should a storm impact this area and winds begin to gust above 90 mph, it will be necessary to TEMPORARILY CLOSE the Lesner”

Update from email:

Residents/Folks/Travelers/Bridge Gazers:

As the hot, steamy days of summer give away to the almost-as-hot days of a Hampton Roads autumn, we find ourselves exchanging the soft summer breezes for the brutal breezes that feel like needles painfully piercing your face and arms from the winds of the latest tropical storm. As you fuel your generator and horde lots of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and peanut butter, you might want to stockpile some reading material. Why not start with this update?

Mr. Chris the Kingfish and his crews having been plugging away all summer on the popular Lesner Bridge project. Included in this update is chit chat about the gantry, the fender system, a cofferdam, and mechanically stabilized earth. (Some of us will be breaking into discussion groups once we have completed the reading, hoping to dig through some of that deep sub-text that comes with these engineering updates.)

As always, we appreciate your questions and e-mails, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. 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 haven’t already signed up for the City’s FB page or Twitter account, I encourage you to do so so that you receive timely updates from all things City-related.

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. And don’t forget . . . stay safe, 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



We are in the peak of hurricane season, and with all of the talk and news coverage of the hurricanes churning in the Atlantic, it is worth noting that should a storm impact this area and winds begin to gust above 90 mph, it will be necessary to TEMPORARILY CLOSE the Lesner Bridge to all but emergency vehicles due to the proximity of the construction gantry. We kept a very close eye on the storm track of Hurricane Irma and were ready to take the necessary precautions to secure the Lesner Bridge construction site, if needed. Fortunately, that no longer seems to be a concern.

Even though storm preparations were being made, construction work on the bridge continued. Since the last project update in early August, two more spans of the new eastbound bridge have been completed (spans 2 and 3) and if the weather holds out, McLean Contracting could launch the gantry crane to bridge span #4 as early as this Friday the 15th.

View Looking East from atop the Gantry (New Westbound Lesner Bridge shown on left)

New Westbound Lesner Bridge (left) and Completed Span #2 of the New Eastbound Lesner Bridge (right)

As work continues on the bridge superstructure, other work is also being completed concurrently. Folks that use the Lynnhaven Inlet will notice that the southern half of the new bridge fender system is now being constructed on either side of the main channel. Within the next few weeks all of the piles for the new fender system will be driven. The timber rails and walkways, as well as the permanent lighting for this fender system, will be installed through the month of October, and we anticipate completing it by the first week of November.

New Westbound Lesner Bridge (left) and Completed Span #2 of the New Eastbound Lesner Bridge (right)

New MSE wall in front of Bubba’s Restaurant and the Lesner Inn

A lot of work is also occurring along Cape Henry Drive on the east side of the bridge in front of the Lesner Inn, and the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Association. At this location, work has begun on the last MSE (Mechanically Stabilized Earth) wall for the project. With a length of 645 feet, it is also the longest MSE wall on the project and is expected to be completed by the first week of October.

Installation of drilled shaft foundations for the bridge pier columns also continues. All but one of the drilled shafts have been installed for Pier #5 and at Pier #6 only one drilled shaft remains to be placed. McLean will mobilize the drilling equipment to Pier #7 at the completion of these two drilled shafts. Preparations for work at Pier #7 have already been made. The cofferdam at Pier #7 has been installed, and the permanent steel casings for the 5 drilled shafts at this location have been delivered to the work area.

In summary, the following work has been completed since our last project update in August:

    · Most of the old Lesner Bridges have been demolished, with only a few in-water concrete piles remaining to be removed;

    · Spans 1, 2, and 3 (of 10) for the new EB bridge have been completed and the gantry crane is being prepared for launching to Span #4;

    · The footing and column at Pier #4 have been completed;

    · Streetlight pole foundations on the new eastbound bridge approach between East Stratford Street and the new bridge have been installed;

    · 9 of the 10 drilled shafts for Pier #5 have been installed;

    · 4 of the 5 drilled shafts for Pier #6 have been installed;

    · Work on the southern half of the new bridge fender system has begun;

    · 9 of the 10 drilled shafts for Pier #5 have been installed;

    · Approximately 400 linear feet (of 645 linear feet) of MSE Wall #5 (in front of Lesner Inn) has been built.

AMI, Inc. in Portsmouth, continues to build the superstructure of the new Lesner Bridge. A total of 163 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 the end of this month.

Over the next two weeks, the bridge contractor will:

    · Complete drilled shaft foundations at Pier #5;

    · Complete drilled shaft foundations at Pier #6;

    · Complete pile installation for the new bridge fender system;

    · Begin assembly of the superstructure for bridge span #4; and

    · Continue work on the new MSE wall along the south side of Shore Drive between the new bridge and Vista Circle (in front of Lesner Inn);

That’s it for now. Please drive safely!


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

SDCC requests City Council defer hearing Planning Item #4 – New Millennium Senior Living Communities.

From an email sent to City Council:

Dear Mayor Sessoms and City Council Members,

I am writing to request a deferral for the subject agenda item, Planning Item #4 – New Millennium Senior Living Communities, being heard at tonight’s Council meeting. The deferral would allow time for the community and City Traffic Engineers to find a safer design for the proposed additional entrance located at the intersection of Shore Drive and Indian Hill Road.

Residents have expressed concern at both Bayfront Advisory Commission and Shore Drive Community Coalition meetings that adding 2 additional points of conflict at the new entrance intersection will result in an unsafe situation. The existing intersection already creates a two car stacking conflict in the median and the proposed City design could result in a 3 or even 4 car interaction.

The following recommendation has been made for the new traffic pattern and would provide a safer intersection with no adverse impact to the operation of the new development.

At the proposed Indian Hill Road entrance – only allow vehicles heading eastbound on Shore Drive to enter and exit the new development.
Keep operating the existing old building main entrance with 4 way median flow as-is. This entrance is located approximately 500 feet to the west of the proposed Indian Hill Road entrance.
Vehicles leaving the development heading westbound on Shore Drive would use the existing old building entrance or the First Court Road entrance which leads to stop lighted intersections.

Thank you for your continued efforts to make Shore Drive safe for all modes of travel

Todd Solomon
Shore Drive Community Coalition-President
(757) 667-8533 cell

“Shore Drive, We Love This Place”, check out http://www.sdcc.info

Aerial view of existing conditions. Proposed new Baylake facility will be in grass area on left.

Emphasis added for this post.

“Thousands want to save a live oak tree in Chesapeake Beach but a tree expert says it’s decaying”

View article including photos at Pilotonline.com.

“That tree is just gorgeous,” Morrell said. “It’s like a breath of fresh air.”

Since the residents’ petition surfaced, the city has delayed removing the tree and is seeking a second opinion, said Susan French, an arborist for Virginia Beach.

The resident who owns property impacted by the towering oak’s branches asked the city to inspect the tree a few months ago, French said.

Photo credit: Bill Tiernan | Virginian-Pilot

We’ll be discussing this tonight at our meeting.

Join us at Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad at 730pm!

Info & the Agenda located here.

SDCC General Meeting Mon Aug 28 – Disaster Preparedness Presentation

Click here for a printable version of the agenda 8.28.17 SDCC Agenda

SDCC General Meeting Agenda
Monday August 28, 2017 from 7:30 to 9:00pm
Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad Hall
(parking in back, on side streets and across Shore Drive)

Special Presentation –

Disaster Preparedness in Virginia Beach

Ms. Heather Gordon, Sr. Planner Office of Emergency Management, will discuss Virginia Beach’s plans on how to prepare and recover from potential natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. Come learn about the new “Know Your Zone” hurricane evacuation designations, Learn where the closest shelters are, Learn the best ways to prepare for a disaster. This meeting is open to the public, so bring a friend, your lives may depend on it.

Officer’s Reports: Secretary – David Williams; Treasurer’s Report -Kathy Pawlak; Vice President – Wally Damon;
President – Todd Solomon

Old Business-
Bayfront Development Projects Update
• Marina Shores Marina Apartments
• Bay Lake Assisted Living Facility Expansion
• Resort Conference Hotel Proposal to Convert to Assisted Living Facility
• Mermaid Winery

Community Rating System (CRS) Application to FEMA/HUD – The City Manager has sent a letter to FEMA requesting that Virginia Beach be evaluated for inclusion in the CRS program. Copy of letter is on http://www.sdcc.info

New Business –
Bayfront Advisory Commission (BAC) News – Mr. Wally Damon will update us on the actions of the Bayfront Advisory Commission.

VB proposed changes to Route 35 and other bus services – The City’s transportation planners have presented City Council with a draft 2018 plan to improve the City’s mass transit by increasing frequency and reliability. How does this impact test route 35?

Boat Repair Shop Demolition – It appears that the demolition of the boat repair shop on Shore Drive in Ocean Park had little to no oversite from City zoning inspectors. No storm water inlet barricades were used, no protection fencing and other alledged violations were noted by residents. What actions can be taken to prevent this from happening again on future projects?

Community Concerns– General discussion of neighborhood and community concerns that may need SDCC attention. This is an opportunity for all to share information.


Next SDCC Meeting – Monday September 25, 2017

News & petition about a unique, beloved live oak in Chics Beach neighbors are trying to save.

News including video at 13 News Now.

Neighbors are so upset, they started a petition because they say this is history, although the tree is damaged they believe it can be saved.

“Fill it with a material, organic material that would help any increase of the decay,” Morrell said.

Others say this the tree is important and they will do anything to keep it standing.

View the petition at Change.org entitled SAVE A 100+ YEAR OLD LIVE OAK TREE!!!!

There is a lovely old (100-200 year old) Live Oak tree on Virginia Beach city property (in Chics Beach, corner of Chubb Lake & Bayview Avenues). The city has all but decided to take it down…

Update on expanding HRT Route 35 next year

Exciting stuff !

Draft of 2018 plan includes adding another bus to route to reduce frequency to 30 minutes from 45, and running Route 35 over to HRT transfer station at Pleasure House Road that would help expand service to JEB Little Creek.

View Citywide Transit Planning Update made to City Council this week. (29 page PDF).

More info about Route 35 at this website.

385 Survey Takers Provided Input on a Proposed Shore Drive – Oceanfront Trolley