Potential long-term closure at Centerville Turnpike Bridge in Chesapeake leaves businesses worried


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A business owner in Chesapeake feels like she’s crossed one bridge just to get stuck at another. 

This is after a barge hit the Centerville Turnpike Bridge, potentially shutting it down again just months after reopening. 

“It just seems like one thing after another with this bridge. What is the problem with this bridge?” said Karen Bryan, the owner of The Vintage Vibe.

The bridge was closed for repairs for 6 months from October of 2019 to February of 2020. Then, there were a few weekend closures for more repairs. 

“It’s just a major headache for everyone,” Bryan said.

We first met Bryan in November of last year while the bridge was shut down for its 6-month touch up. Her antique business, The Vintage Vibe struggled, but prevailed. The pandemic hit a month after the bridge opened. Then, 2020 brought another big hit … literally.

“I got an alert early that morning saying that the bridge was stuck in the open position which wasn’t unusual because it’s happened several times since the original 6-month fix,” she said. “We learned that a barge hit it and that it wasn’t going to be a quick fix.” 

RELATED: Centerville Turnpike Bridge reopens after getting stuck in open position again

Not a quick fix at all. In fact, as we’ve reported, the city says it’s most likely going to be closed for months. 

“It’s just unbelievable that we’re right back here again this time of year,” she said.

10 On Your Side asked city officials for an update and they said an investigation into what exactly happened when the barge hit is still underway. 

No repairs will be made until that is finished. 

Bryan can’t help but to feel anxious and worried for her business. 

“Fix that bridge and open up the traffic.” 

WAVY also learned that there’s a feasibility study in the works for a new Centerville Turnpike Bridge. 

Officials said there will be a meeting in the coming months to hear the community’s input on the potential of building a new bridge. 

Take Rt. 186/Chesapeake Expressway to get around the current closure. 

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