CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Traffic was badly backing up on Moses Grandy Trail in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake, and evening rush hour is not the time to be here.
A $60 million project is underway to replace the federally-owned Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Deep Creek Bridge, which the Army Corps of Engineers describes as “a functionally obsolete two-lane” bridge. When completed the new bridge will be a five-lane drawbridge at 144 feet long and 60 feet wide.
Phase 1 will take 18 months, and the entire project is expected to be completed by summer 2026 — a little less than three years from now.
That is a lot of days with terrible traffic headaches to live and deal with.
Terrance King hits the nail on the head.
“All this infrastructure going on, roads catching up with the demand of the houses built for so long,” King said, “and all that they’ve been talking about doing this for years and years, and it’s always been like this.”
The new bridge is long overdue.
“Back in the 70’s we recommended replacement of this bridge Chesapeake was involved in the study the issue was federal funding,” said Mark Haviland of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
It’s taken more than 50 years to go from a two-lane bridge to a magnificent, new five-lane bridge with a crosswalk and turn lanes.
Alex Meares works in North Carolina and wants a better intersection.
“There needs to be a light right here,” said Meares, pointing to the intersection leading to the Deep Creek Bridge. “This is ridiculous. I’ve been driving this route the last two years. … It’s terrible.”
The Army Corps’ Phillip Abbott said that’s part of the new project, also.
“The new intersection light there, that will increase the flow of traffic and will provide for a safer intersection,” Abbott said.
Wilbur Turner, who lives in Virginia Beach, said progress isn’t pretty.
“What do I think about it? Well, it’s a necessity,” Turner said. “This is the cost of progress, yes, but it must be done.”
Drew Heron was using the bridge and wasn’t enjoying the experience.
“How do I sum all this up? It’s terrible, terrible, terrible,” Heron said. “My message is, ‘hurry up and finish.’”
10 On Your Side was there when a Chesapeake school dismissed and more than 20 buses were lined up at the bridge waiting in line for about 30 minutes to get across. Bus driver Sue Roadcap told us,
“The bridge is the problem,” said bus driver Sue Roadcap. “We can’t get out. There are people letting people out at the Food Lion, and they cut through and people keep feeding them out. These kids are restless, and they are ready to go home. … I am going to be late, and I got to double back for another run because we are short bus drivers.”
The Army Corps suggested people get messages of closures and alerts, and use your map app to determine how long the backups are. To receive traffic alerts and project milestones, text “DCBridge” to 888777.