CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Crews are working day and night to fix the damage to the Route 168 Bypass Bridge.
A barge got stuck underneath the bridge causing damage to the girder.
The city of Chesapeake tells 10 On Your Side that there is not an exact timeframe for how long the work will take.
AAA Tidewater said you should start getting ready now for possible congestion ahead of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
“Preparing, preparing, preparing beforehand,” Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater Public Relations and Community Outreach Specialist, said. “It’s obviously going to be heavy, especially on a large weekend like Memorial Day weekend when people want to spend it outside.”
He said it’s normally pretty busy around the Chesapeake Expressway during Memorial Day weekend. Adcock said there could be a bit more traffic this time.
“The damage that the boat did to the bridge backing all of that traffic up will exacerbate the length of cars that are going to be sitting on the Expressway,” he said.
The city of Chesapeake told 10 On Your Side it is opening both southbound lanes Saturday and Sunday, regardless of the girder repair status. In the meantime, traffic is limited to only one lane. In an update posted Monday to the city’s website, it said work is continuing.
“We completely understand that everyone wants to know when the work will be complete, but we just don’t have an exact date yet,” the city said. “What we do know is that work will continue 24-hours a day, with the exception of weekends, until repairs are complete.”
The city previously told 10 On Your Side the repairs largely rely on the availability of specialized crews to perform “heat straightening” of the damaged girder.
As the repairs continue, Adcock said it’s a good time to start planning out another route just in case.
“Going into Memorial Day weekend and knowing it’s going to be an issue and either make sure you budget enough time for your family to get down to the Outer Banks safely or finding an alternative route to hop on the Expressway after the bridge,” he said.
Stay up to date on the latest Route 168/Chesapeake Expressway bridge updates by clicking here.