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Bumpers added under Coleman Bridge

Unbeknownst to the thousands of motorists crossing the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, a project has been ongoing for two months to add giant bumpers to two piers.

Mariners who transit the bridge have watched a tugboat snug a barge up to the south pier outside the main channel. Vessels are required to go through the main two turrets that form the center of the bridge, so it seemed odd to put bumpers in an unauthorized place.

Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Brittany McBride Nichols explained that “VDOT is installing the fenders to protect the underwater cables that provide the electrical power to operate the movable bridge.

“These cables have been hit by a vessel in the past and caused the movable bridge to lose a source of power until the cables were repaired,” she added. “To prevent this in the future, the fenders are being installed to protect the cables and power to the bridge.”

The cost is around $1 million to purchase, transp...

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