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.
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.