NEWPORT NEWS/ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY – The contractor for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) James River Bridge Wire Ropes Replacement Project has announced their approved schedule to implement two extended roadway and maritime closures in January and February 2024 at the Route 17 James River Bridge between Newport News and Isle of Wight. As part of the project to replace the bridge’s 80 counterweight wire ropes that are necessary to lift the bridge span for marine traffic, the contractor must implement two separate, 100-hour full operational closures at the bridge for maritime traffic that require bridge openings and all vehicular traffic.
Scheduled Closure Dates:
The primary dates for the full roadway closures and restriction of all bridge lifts at the JRB are scheduled for:
- 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16
- 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6
Backup Closure Dates:
If unable to implement the closures during the scheduled dates above, VDOT will provide advance notice to the public should the contractor need to utilize the following approved backup dates instead:
- 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19 through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23
- 1 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 12
During the full closures, all traffic will be detoured to the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as one of the primary alternate travel routes. Additional alternate routes include the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry and Route 460.
For maritime travel during the closures, marine vessels that do not require a bridge opening can continue to use the navigational channel under the bridge throughout the project’s duration. However, during these timeframes, no bridge openings can be performed for marine vessels that require a bridge lift. Maritime travel impacts may extend up to an additional 24 hours to ensure the bridge span is aligned and operating properly after a series of test lifts; however, VDOT will provide updates should this extension occur.
Sign Up for Updates:
For those interested in closure updates related to marine-specific traffic, subscribe to receive updates via text message by texting the message “MARITIME” to 833-748-0519.
Additionally, the public can also subscribe to receive project and roadway traffic updates via email and by text message by signing up on the VDOT project website or by sending the text “MOTORIST” to 833-748-0519.
During the closures, motorists are encouraged to limit or plan their travel before heading out with VDOT’s free traffic information tools:
- Download the 511 Virginia smartphone app or the 511-integrated Waze app
- Visit the 511 Virginia website or
- Dial 511 for traffic information on your phone.
About the Project:
PCL Construction was awarded the $3.49 million construction contract in August 2023. Crews began preliminary work in November 2023 to expedite the onsite work ahead of the upcoming replacement of the counterweight wire ropes. The JRB Wire Rope Replacement Project is necessary to extend the operational life of the JRB and keep the bridge in good operating condition, while also reducing unscheduled repairs, improving safety and increasing the bridge’s performance reliability.
For more information on the project, visit the VDOT website at www.VirginiaDOT.org/JRBropes.