Chesapeake Weekly, I-64 High Rise Bridge Widening Project

MIKE: Well, one of the key features of the I-64 Southside 
Widening is the construction of a second   high rise bridge across the Elizabeth River. So 
this bridge is well under its way to completion.   Currently, we hit a major milestone here. 
Recently, all the piles have been driven   into the river and all the pile caps 
cast on top. So, the foundations are all   complete, 100 percent complete, and the substructure is 
nearly complete as well, the columns and pure caps.   So, the current effort right now is 
setting the large precast concrete girders   on top of the pier caps. Currently, the 
contractor has set over 220 of those large   girders. Some of them are as tall as nearly just under 200 feet long and   they weigh almost 200,000 pounds. So, over 220 of 
those have already been set.

Sixteen of the concrete   decks have been cast already out of 37. 
So, the bridge is coming together very nicely.   The target is next spring, early summer to have 
the High Rise Bridge construction completed.   At that point, we'll put it into a kind 
of a temporary condition. We'll take two lanes   of traffic off the old high rise bridge heading 
from Suffolk to Virginia Beach and put it on the   new bridge, and then leave two lanes on 
the old bridge from carrying traffic from   Virginia Beach towards Suffolk.

What that'll 
enable to happen is a reconfiguration of the old   high rise bridge in the last phase, which will 
reconfigure it to carry one directional traffic   from Virginia Beach to Suffolk. So
once we split the traffic, be the   first time traffic has been split eastbound and 
westbound off the old bridge, and then   at the end we'll have three lanes, both directions, 
two general purpose lanes, and express lane   in each direction on each bridge. So at 
that point, that will separate the traffic   from the existing bridge to the two bridges. That's 
a key milestone that we're shooting for. Depending   on the weather this winter, we'll see how 
much we get done over the winter, but the target is   next spring, early summer to have the 
initial phase of the High Rise Bridge open.   So in addition to the High Rise Bridge, there's 
actually seven other bridges under construction.   One of those is a replacement of the Great 
Bridge Boulevard overpass over Interstate 64   between 464 and Battlefield Boulevard.

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