Two full closures ahead for James River Bridge project

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Virginia Department of Transportation’s contractor on the James River Bridge wire ropes replacement project has announced the approved schedule to implement two extended roadway and maritime closures in January and February 2024 at the Route 17 James River Bridge between Newport News and Isle of Wight. 

As part of the project to replace the bridge’s 80 counterweight wire ropes that are necessary to lift the bridge span for marine traffic, VDOT officials said in a news release that the contractor must implement two separate, 100-hour full operational closures at the bridge for maritime traffic that require bridge openings and all vehicular traffic.

The primary dates for the full roadway closures and restriction of all bridge lifts at the JRB are:

  • 1 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16
  • 1 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6

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If unable to implement the closures during the scheduled dates above, VDOT officials said they will provide advance notice to the public should the contractor need to use the following approved backup dates:

  • 1 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23
  • 1 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8 through 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 12

During the full closures, all traffic will be detoured to the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel as one of the primary alternate travel routes. Additional alternate routes include the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry and Route 460. 

For maritime travel during the closures, marine vessels that do not require a bridge opening can continue to use the navigational channel under the bridge throughout the project’s duration, the release stated. However, during these timeframes, no bridge openings can be performed for marine vessels that require a bridge lift. Maritime travel impacts may extend up to an additional 24 hours to ensure the bridge span is aligned and operating properly after a series of test lifts; however, VDOT will provide updates should this extension occur.