Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crews to repair I-95 bridge where pothole opened last week
Crews will be doing extensive overnight repair work to the Interstate 95 bridge over U.S. 17 in Stafford where a large pothole opened Friday afternoon, leading to backups as far north as Prince William County.
That work will shut down two southbound lanes from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Crews with VDOT and a contractor will do the repair work.
The contractor will make more permanent repairs to the pothole, said VDOT’s Kelly Hannon. VDOT crews will remove the section of the bridge deck where the pothole opened, then they will install new steel beams and pour concrete in the section. They also will check to see if any other repairs are needed.
The pothole opened Friday at about 10 a.m., creating a hole that was 2.5 feet long and 3 feet wide, according to Hannon. The left and center lanes were closed for emergency repairs. The lanes were reopened at 1:40 p.m. By that time the backup on the interstate stretched some 25 miles.
Friday’s incident wasn’t the first time big potholes opened on the structurally deficient bridge.
In January several potholes, ranging from 1 foot to 5 feet, opened on the same bridge, forcing emergency repairs at that time, too. The potholes were what VDOT refers to as “through holes” because the opening went completely through the bridge structure.
“The bridge is a high priority for replacement, said VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon.
The bridge will first have to be put on the state’s Six-Year Improvement Program.
In the meantime, Hannon said the current fixes should work.
“We have a number of maintenance tools to keep the bridge in good shape,” she said.
She also said the highway department will continuously monitor the bridge.
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