Crews making progress on Lesner Bridge replacement project

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) -- VDOT says about 40 percent of the old Lesner Bridge has been demolished.

Crews are working to replace the existing bridge with a new, expanded bridge, which will eventually feature six travel lanes. The project began in June 2014.

Demolition on the old spans began on January 25.

Crews aren't using explosives to blast the old bridge away. Instead, pieces of the bridges have been strategically cut to allow each beam to be removed individually. Most of the removed beams are being transferred to barges to be taken to the Cabbage Patch Reef -- an artificial reef created by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission that uses old construction materials.

Old Lesner Bridge to serve new purposes

Some of the removed beams were chosen by Virginia Tech to be saved and transported to Blacksburg for strength testing.

The remaining piles of the bridge are cut off four feet below the ground surface if they are on land or are vibrated out if they are within the water.

Crews have started building the new bridge, even though the old bridge spans aren't completely removed yet.

You can see photos from a construction camera installed at the site to get updated images on the hour.

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