Bridge project creates major traffic delays on I-95

Posted at 1:55 PM, Jul 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-19 14:19:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The backup and brake lights stretched for miles on Interstate 95 Thursday morning. Repairs underneath the Lombardy Street bridge forced crews to continue work through the morning rush hour and reduced southbound traffic to a single lane.

"Bridges aren't made to be taken apart and that's exactly what we are doing with this bridge restoration project," said VDOT spokeswoman Dawn Eischen. "Nobody can see work on top of the bridge, which is what they're probably used to. The critical work right now is under the bridge."

Eischen the construction work was extended after crews tried removing an old pier cap from the bridge. The crew was unable to budge the nearly 150-ton piece of concrete.

"Sometimes you run into problems where the pieces don't want to come out like they should," said Eischen.  "Right now you can not put travel lanes on top of the areas they are working on.  It is a safety hazard."

The heavy construction work created heavy traffic for the drivers trying to cross the bridge. 

"We do plan to penalize the contractors for being out in the road during rush hour," said Eischen.  "They are typically penalized anymore than the allotted time in the contract--which is rush hour."

All three lanes on the Lombardy Street bridge reopened around 11:00 a.m.  However the dual lane closures will continue weeknights from 8:00 p.m to 6 a.m.

For more information on the bridge restoration project click here.