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Island bridge sticks in open position because of heat

The Gwynn’s Island bridge has been stuck open several times recently because of the heat, leaving island residents temporarily stranded on one side or the other as they wait for bridge crews or the fire department to pump enough water on it to cool it down.

Built in 1938 and opened in 1939, the bridge, located on Route 223 over Milford Haven, is the oldest movable bridge in the commonwealth, said a press release from Darragh Copley Frye, communications coordinator for the Fredericksburg District of the Virginia Department of Transportation. She said the bridge opens to marine traffic approximately 3,000 times a year, averaging around 12 openings a day.

During the hottest days in the summer months, said Frye, the steel on the bridge expands and the bridge can become stuck in the open position. When this occurs, crews pump water on the affected area to reduce the temperature of the metal.

During the past week, the bridge was stuck in the open position on Friday, Saturday and Sun...

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