James River Bridge reopens ahead of schedule following multi-day shutdown

Published 7:34 pm Monday, January 15, 2024

The first of two four-day shutdowns of the James River Bridge has ended ahead of schedule.

All four travel lanes of the 41-year-old drawbridge that connects Isle of Wight County with Newport News closed at 1 a.m. on Jan. 12 and were to remain impassable through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, but the bridge reopened to motorists at approximately 4:40 p.m. Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced in a news release.

During the closure, VDOT contractor crews replaced the first 40 of 80 cables original to the drawbridge. A second closure – one for each drawbridge tower – is set to begin at 1 a.m. on Feb. 2 and continue through 5 a.m. on Feb. 6, during which VDOT’s contractor will replace the remaining 40 cables.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

As of approximately 4:50 p.m. on Monday, the bridge remained closed to marine vessels that require a drawbridge opening, though scheduled bridge lifts are expected to resume within the next few hours. Drawbridge lift restrictions for marine vessels may extend up to an additional 24 hours through 5 a.m. on Feb. 7 following the February closure.

During the next scheduled four-day shutdown, a signed detour will be in place to direct motorists to the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel as a primary alternate route. Motorists will also be able to take the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry from Surry County.

Vessels that do not require a bridge lift can continue to use the channel under the bridge throughout the day and during the next four-day closure.