PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of the Wheelabrator trash incinerating plant in Portsmouth is working to remove the damaged parts of a conveyor belt that has caused the stoppage of normal operations at the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge since Friday.

The conveyor belt, which stretches across the entrance to the Portsmouth side of the bridge, caught fire Friday morning. No injuries were reported.

When the fire burned through trash coming up the conveyor belt, damaging the outside of the structure, it meant cars could not drive under what had caught fire, and they closed down the Portsmouth Elm Avenue entrance to the bridge.

In a statement to 10 On Your Side, a spokesperson for WIN Waste Innovations said:

“We have evaluated the structures alongside a third-party engineering expert and are mobilizing a team to remove the damaged sections of the overhead conveyor enclosure which was the only area impacted.”

WAVY’s Andy Fox found crews working on the conveyor with what sounded like a drill at noon Tuesday.

The road will remain closed in the meantime, but WIN says it’s “working diligently to repair any damage and ensure safe passage to reopen the road as determined by the local agencies.”

It has also diverted trash to the facility, but said they are continuing to provide steam to the Navy.

Drivers are still able to get across the bridge from the Chesapeake side and turn right immediately after the bridge into adjacent parking lot. However the bridge is seeing only about 3,000 drivers of its roughly 10,000 drivers per day on average.

“We have lost two-thirds of our daily traffic of about 10,000 cars a day,” said Jordan Bridge General Manager Kevin Crum. “It’s an impact to us, but also impacts the other roadways. … The Downtown Tunnel now has another 6,000 to 7,000 cars a day.”

Drivers like Charles Fowlkes said it has added up to 40 minutes a day to his commute.

“I have to drive around, and it’s an extra 15 minutes,” Fowlkes said. “It’s 15, 20 minutes easily each way.”

Drivers from the Chesapeake side are able to access industrial businesses and parking lots for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from the Chesapeake side, but jersey walls prevent people from driving under the trash conveyor belt structure.

“This is a major traffic impact,” said Jordan Bridge General Manager Kevin Crum. “It not only affects the businesses, but also the residents in Portsmouth who use it to go to the Chesapeake side every day.”