CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – There’s great news for drivers just ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
The Route 168 Bypass Bridge, the main artery to the Outer Banks from Virginia, fully reopened Wednesday after being hit by a barge two weeks ago.
The city of Chesapeake posted to Twitter saying that the final inspection of the bridge has been completed and all southbound lanes have now reopened.
The city announced Tuesday that repairs were nearly complete on the bridge, and after the inspection on Wednesday morning, it will reopen.
After the collision, inspectors deemed the bridge safe for travel but only one southbound lane was open due to repair work, and there wasn’t a definite timetable for reopening even as recent as Monday.
Fortunately, the contractor tasked with the “heat straightening” repairs determined the damaged girder could be fixed much quicker than initially anticipated, and crews worked 24/7 to fix the issue, the city says.
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.
Meanwhile Chesapeake City Council voted on Tuesday night to allocate $750,000 from the city’s general fund for emergency repairs. The city says it will seek full reimbursement from the dredging company that damaged the bridge.