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Monday, October 13, 2008

Hampton Roads Regional Bridge Study

For anyone who might be concerned about the safety of our bridges, I found it interesting to review the Hampton Roads Regional Bridge Study, put out last month by the Metropolitan Planning Organization. It has everything you need to be informed. It even has the elusive 'sufficiency ratings' that we are not allowed to see on the news anymore. The bottom five bridges and their ratings are:
  • 22nd St. Bridge over Seaboard & RR Line (Chesapeake) - 2.0
  • Gilmerton Bridge over S. Branch of Elizabeth River (Chesapeake) - 3.0
  • Jordan Bridge over S. Branch of Elizabeth River (Chesapeake) - 4.0
  • John Tyler Highway over Chickahominy River (James City County) - 6.0
  • Mount Pleasant Road over the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal (Chesapeake) - 17.5
Note that out of the 5 lowest ranking bridges in Hampton Roads, 4 of them are in Chesapeake. The only other one, in James City County, is actually being replaced. It is anticipated to be completed this December, a few months AHEAD of schedule. Closer to home, however, the Gilmerton is getting some repairs and the Jordan is closing. Gilmerton is also supposed to get a replacement span. It is in design right now and has $154 million budgeted to it. On the other hand the 22nd St bridge only has $625,000 out of $22 million an is listed as 'on hold.' Nobody lists the North Landing Bridge (Mt. Pleasant) as even in the works to pretend we need a replacement. Chesapeake can spend millions on a bike path but can't afford to build safer bridges for the rest of us. Regardless, take a look at the report. It is available here.

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