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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 45-12
Monday, October 1, 2012
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

FHWA Administrator Mendez Visits Virginia for Update on Gilmerton Bridge Replacement Project

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today visited Chesapeake, Virginia for an update on the Gilmerton Bridge replacement project that will help relieve congestion in the Hampton Roads area.

"This project is an example of President Obama's plan to rebuild America's transportation infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Replacing this critical bridge means jobs today and economic growth well into the future."

The new Gilmerton Bridge on Military Highway will be a lift-span bridge, and is expected to be completed in early 2014. It will replace the existing double-leaf bascule bridge, which swings to the side to accommodate river traffic, which was constructed in 1938 and has reached its life expectancy. The bridge is a vital transportation route for more than 35,000 motorists a day.

The higher vertical clearance of 35 feet in the closed position will accommodate marine traffic traveling on the Elizabeth River with fewer bridge openings and road traffic stoppages, which will help relieve congestion on US-13 and I-64. The new bridge will be wider to accommodate the future widening of Military Highway from four lanes to six.

"This bridge will be built to accommodate the future needs of the region," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. "Virginians are closer to having a new bridge that will make it easier for workers to get to their jobs and for businesses to deliver their goods and products."

The bridge is being built with prefabricated bridge parts to accelerate construction by building the center span off-site and then placing it onto the bridge.

The total cost of the project is $134 million, including $113 million in federal-aid funding.

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