Bids taken on temporary island bridge repair

Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Nov 16, 2011 - 03:54 PM

Photo: House mover Jim Matyiko of Virginia Beach said an increase on the weight limit for the Gwynn’s Island bridge would enable him to retrieve equipment he already has on the Island, as shown here, and to carry equipment onto the island for new projects, but he’ll have to make three times as many trips to accomplish the same thing. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

House mover Jim Matyiko of Virginia Beach said an increase on the weight limit for the Gwynn’s Island bridge would enable him to retrieve equipment he already has on the Island, as shown here, and to carry equipment onto the island for new projects, but he’ll have to make three times as many trips to accomplish the same thing. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

A temporary repair for the Gwynn’s Island bridge is in the works and is expected to be completed in a month or less. A design by an engineering consultant is currently under review, said Virginia Department of Transportation bridge engineer Annette Adams, and a request has been made for bids on steel stringers.

The repair involves replacing only some of the stringers under the bridge to bring the weight limit up to 25 tons for a tractor and trailer instead of the current 15 tons, said Adams. The goal of 25 tons was set because of an island seafood company. Beginning in February, that company will be affected by the weight limit, said Adams, so VDOT is "under a very tight time frame" to complete the repair.

Adams said the weight limit for "single axle vehicles" (VDOT’s term for vehicles that are a single unit rather than split into a tractor and a trailer) still hasn’t been calculated, but that it will increase as well.

The temporary fix won’t repair all the deficiencies, just the worst ones. There will still be rusty, deteriorated areas, said Adams, and "it’s not going to look brand new."

The actual work will take six to eight days, during which the bridge will have one lane closed during the day.