VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Lesner Bridge replacement project hit a milestone four years in the making on Thursday night. Crews were scheduled to open the new bridge to traffic.
Beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday, Shore Drive was reduced to one lane in each direction while crews updated the pavement markings and switched out traffic signals. This impacts the intersections at East Stratford Road and Vista Circle/Page Avenue.
“There’s a lot of users that want to get across that Lynnhaven Inlet and I think we’re going to provide a facility, that allows plenty of room for everybody to not be in each other’s way,” said Engineering Construction Manager Christopher Wojtowicz.
The single lane of eastbound Shore Drive traffic will be moved onto the new eastbound bridge as soon as the new pavement markings are in place.
The westbound single lane will remain during this next stage of the traffic switch.
Once all of the pavement marking and traffic signal changes are made, the eastbound left lane will be reopened to traffic and allowed to cross the new eastbound bridge. The left lane of the westbound traffic will also be reopened.
All of the lane shifts are expected to be complete by 5 a.m. Friday.
“Whats important about that is now we’re finally able to free up some room on the westbound bridge to make room for the 10 foot wide multi-use path which is the last phase of the Lesner Bridge Project,” explained Wojtowicz.
Drivers will experience the same traffic pattern for the next several months while a new 10-foot wide multi-use path is built across the westbound bridge.
Pedestrians will not be allowed to use the westbound bridge until construction of the new path is completed.
Wojtowicz says the total project completion date is estimated for the end of November or early December.
Construction of the new Lesner Bridge began on June 2, 2014.